Creosote Deglazing And Why It’s Sometimes Necessary
When Weststar Chimney Sweeps are cleaning your masonry chimney, most of what we are working to remove is creosote, a highly combustible byproduct that builds up on your flue walls every time you use your fireplace. Creosote is extremely flammable and dangerous, so it’s important that it be regularly removed from your flue walls.
In some cases, removing it isn’t as simple as a standard chimney sweeping. We see three different stages of creosote buildup:
- Stage one creosote tends to be fluffy and velvety.
- Stage two creosote is flaky or crumbly.
- Stage three creosote — or glazed creosote– is shiny, black and solidly lines the chimney walls — it looks almost as if a thick, sugary candy shell has developed on the inside of the flue.
Glazed creosote poses the biggest cleaning challenge. If a technician were to try and remove this rock-solid glazed creosote using standard tools and blunt force, it would damage your chimney, and still probably not remove most of the glaze. In order to properly and safely remove glazed creosote, you’ll need to have a professional creosote deglazing service performed.
Weststar Chimney Sweeps Has The Tools And The Knowledge To Deglaze Your Chimney
A standard chimney sweep service will not remove the baked-on glaze that’s developed on your chimney walls. To remove second and third stage creosote, we recommend and perform a detailed mechanical cleaning.
To mechanically clean your system, Weststar Chimney Sweeps’ technicians use a mechanical high-speed, half-inch drill and a 24-inch wizard whip. These tools will allow us to break down and safely remove the glazed creosote without damaging the chimney.
How Did This Glazed Creosote Develop In My Chimney In The First Place?
Creosote is an expected byproduct of combustion, but glazed creosote usually comes about due to user practices that can and should be avoided.
The biggest contributor tends to be the homeowner’s use of wood that’s green or not completely dry. Green or non-seasoned wood still has moisture in it, and that extra moisture makes your fire burn at a lower temperature than it would with proper, seasoned cordwood. The cooler fire results in more creosote, which dries at a relatively slow pace. As new layers of creosote form over still-wet layers, glazed creosote starts to develop. Be sure to exclusively burn seasoned firewood, and you will greatly reduce your chances of developing glazed creosote in your chimney system.
Something else to keep in mind: when you burn a fire, make sure to open the flue damper completely. A damper that’s only partially opened allows the fire to smolder, and can contribute to increased creosote levels and the development of glazed creosote.
Sometimes, glazed creosote isn’t due to user error, but installation problems. When you install a new heating appliance, it’s very important for the flue it’s venting through to be properly and compatibly sized. A too-large flue contributes to a less efficient draft, more creosote, and a higher possibility of glazed creosote. Not sure if your flue and appliance are compatible? Just ask! Weststar Chimney Sweeps can tell you if your appliance and flue are properly matched.
Schedule Your Appointment, Today!
Weststar Chimney Sweeps can safely and efficiently remove your glazed creosote, and help you prevent it in the future. Call us at 619-338-8116 or make an appointment online!
Getting rid of creosote build-up is one of the best reasons to schedule your chimney sweeping, but be sure to hire a professional crew like at Weststar Chimney Sweeps for this important chimney service.
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David was great -- cleaned both fireplaces neatly and quickly, and answered all my questions cheerfully. At the end of the cleaning, knowing that I had recently had back surgery, he even asked if he could help with anything - even offered to take out the trash!
~ Cynthia Johnson