Our Company Blog

Creosote: What Is It & Why Is It Dangerous?

Do you enjoy sitting by a nice, crackling fire with your family in the evenings? Wood-burning fireplaces are a great and popular addition to any home, but it is important to invest in regular upkeep to ensure things run well year after year. One thing homeowners need to be wary of is creosote accumulation.

Creosote is what forms in your chimney as you use your fireplace. As the fires burn, various fumes and particles escape up through the chimney, causing condensation to form along the brickwork on their way out. This then turns into creosote, which sticks to your interior walls and can be dangerous in larger quantities.

Creosote- Why It's Dangerous

Creosote & Chimney Fires

Now, there are a few different types of creosote you can have in your chimney, but no matter which type it is, it is flammable. If the creosote inside of your chimney or flue ignites, it could easily trigger a chimney fire, which is detrimental to the health and stability of your structure. In no time, your masonry will be run down and you won’t be getting the warmth you deserve from your system.

Chimney fires are known for causing brickwork to crack and crumble, and eventually this type of damage can lead to a settlement or collapse. Your chimney simply isn’t built to withstand those high temperatures, and the materials that make it up suffer immensely because of it.

Unfortunately, a chimney collapse isn’t the only thing to be concerned about when it comes to chimney fires. As cracks, holes, and other openings form throughout your system, gas and flames could easily escape into your home. Stray flames could quickly lead to a house fire, and if poisonous fumes, like carbon monoxide, enter the space your family will face some serious health risks.

If you have experienced a chimney fire, you should not put your system to use until a certified team of experts has had the opportunity to fix everything up. Just keep in mind that chimney fires are not always loud, obvious events. In fact, quite often they are unnoticed by anyone, meaning the homeowners won’t have even realized one occurred. This is why annual chimney inspections are such a necessity.

Set Up An Inspection With Us Today

If you are concerned about the health of your chimney, set up a time for our CSIA certified experts to come and help you out. The team at Weststar Chimney Sweeps is trained to perform a thorough chimney inspection, guaranteed to uncover any issues that may be putting your system at risk.

Give us a call now, so we can set you up right for the rest of winter. All fireplace owners should invest in at least one inspection per year, so if you have yet to get yours in, then now is the time. A simple and affordable service like this could save you from some costly repair work down the line! Get in touch with us today to get started.

New Year, New Flue With Heatshield

The start of a new year encourages many folks to think of goals and resolutions for bettering their lives. If you feel inspired to improve your household and get your appliances in tip-top shape for the new year ahead, then why not start with your chimney flue? The holidays are over, but there’s bound to be some chilly nights ahead, so stay on top of it by having your flue relined as soon as possible.

What To Expect From Our Crew

a beautiful masonry chimney If you’ve made the decision of repairing your chimney liner, then our team here to help. We use the best product on the market called HeatShield to guarantee the best results possible for your chimney flue. HeatShield works by sealing your liner and smoothing the surface, so you don’t need to worry about cracks, holes, or damage messing things up and putting you and your loved ones in a dangerous situation.

HeatShield has a Joint Repair system and a Resurfacing System, so whatever problems you’re facing – big or small – there’s a product that will work for your chimney. They also provide a Sleeve Relining System that works well in systems that are more severely damaged or missing a liner altogether.

No matter which type of HeatShield product you need, our crew is more than qualified to apply them in a timely and efficient manner to get your fireplace back to working condition. Not sure which is best for you? We can start off by thoroughly inspecting your flue, pinpointing potential issues you may be facing, and help you figure out which HeatsShield is best for you. Once we’ve completed our assessment, we’ll let you know what exactly need to be done to get your fireplace back to safety and ready for use!

More About HeatShield

When you look at the technology behind HeatShield products, you will realize the wonder of it. Developers have worked hard to guarantee these products provide homeowners with a safer and more effective solution for your chimney. HeatShield has been put to use for two decades now, and many trusted chimney have been using it. Homeowners and sweeps continue to trust this product today. At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we can’t wait to show you what HeatShield can do for your chimney and continue to use it for years to come!

Why Wait?

Your chimney liner does a lot to protect your home from the high temperatures of your fireplace. Without a liner in place, your risk of house fires and carbon monoxide exposure increase dramatically. It also affects the overall inefficiency of your system as well. If your liner is missing or in bad shape, then it’s time to call in the professionals. Contact our expert sweeps right now, we’re ready to provide you with the best care!

Has Your Chimney Been Swept?

Has Your Chimney Been Swept?

Hiring a Chimney Sweep Image - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney SweepsAs a homeowner, you have likely heard about the importance of regular chimney upkeep. Annual inspections and sweepings are a key component in maintaining chimney health and they ensure that everything will run efficiently year-round.

If you have yet to schedule your annual sweeping, then now is the ideal time to get it in! With winter in the near future, your fireplace will surely be running more frequently. Keep your home and family toasty on those snowy nights by calling in an expert to check things out today!

Removing Creosote

One way a sweep prepares your fireplace for regular use is by removing debris build-up and creosote. Clearing these substances out greatly reduces your risk of chimney fires, which put your chimney through a lot and cause them to break down more easily over time. Creosote is very flammable, so the more you have, the more dangerous your fireplace is to run. Offer yourself some peace of mind by scheduling your next chimney sweeping right away.

Clearing Out Blockages

Experts know the ins and outs of any chimney, so if there are any blockages they will be sure to find them. Getting these taken care of before lighting your next fire is vital for keeping your home and family safe. Without the ability to properly vent, your chimney will send smoke and other harmful toxins back into your home. Inhaling fumes, such as carbon monoxide, smoke, and more, can be extremely detrimental to one’s health. Keep your family out of harm’s way by calling in an expert now.

Addressing Needed Repairs

Any leaks, cracks, holes, or other needed repairs should be fixed before you start building fires. When your chimney is damaged it will not run as efficiently and it could put your home and family in harm’s way. Now is the time to address any issues, as the weather remains warm. Once temperatures drop, the materials used to fix your chimney will not cure properly, leaving you with a broken fireplace until spring reappears.

We Can Help

At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we take chimney health very seriously. Our staff is trained and certified by the CSIA and we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date and educated on the latest fireplace news. Customer satisfaction is our top priority which is why homeowners return to us time and time again.

If you need your chimney swept before cold weather strikes and the holidays kick off, then give us a call today and let us help you out. We work carefully and thoroughly, so that you can rest easy knowing every inch of your chimney has been addressed. We want your home to remain as safe as possible, which is why our technicians strive for perfection with every job they take on.

For more information or to schedule your appointment, give us a call or check us out online. We look forward to making your home the best it can be. Thanks for choosing us!

What Is Creosote Deglazing?

What Is Creosote Deglazing?

Creosote Deglazing Image - San Diego CA - Weststar ChimneyWhen it comes to your chimney and fireplace, knowing the ins and outs of it all can be tiresome. While memorizing every detail about fireplace maintenance isn’t necessary, it is a good idea to have some basic knowledge of fireplace terms. Read on to learn more about creosote deglazing and how excess creosote can cause issues for your chimney.

Creosote Awareness

Debris and excess build-up is never good, and creosote is one of the more harmful substances your chimney regularly faces. It varies in shape and texture, but is always something you want to avoid. Not only does it harm your brickwork and lining, but it is known for being highly flammable, as well. This means an increased risk of chimney fires, which could put your family in danger and cause lasting damage to your home.

While avoiding creosote altogether is impossible, there are ways to slow down the rate at which it accumulates. By burning properly seasoned wood, maintaining good air flow throughout the chimney, and keeping your fires extra hot, you will produce cleaner fires, thus lowering the amount of toxins and debris escaping into your chimney.

Level 3 (Glazed) Creosote

Many homeowners are aware of what creosote is, but do not know about the various levels at which it can form in a chimney. Level 3 creosote means that it has accumulated a lot and there is a thick layer lining your brickwork. It is typically dark and gummy and can be very difficult to remove without the proper tools and chemicals.

Deglazing is a term that represents the removal of this nasty substance. The process for removing glazed creosote is a lot more extensive than your basic cleaning or sweeping jobs. Hiring a staff that knows what they are doing and are educated on how to tackle this big task is vital for ensuring the safety of your home and fireplace. Lucky for you, the experts at Weststar Chimney Sweeps know everything there is to know when it comes to creosote removal.

Stick With The Pros

While many feel that they can take on chimney sweeping and cleanings themselves, it is really a job you should entrust to an expert. Leaves, nests, twigs, and other materials can accumulate quickly and knowing where to find them can be tricky. If any steps get overlooked or if any debris gets missed, you could wind up facing some serious issues when you go to light a fire.

If you are worried about the amount of creosote in your chimney, do not hesitate to give us a call today. We pride ourselves on top of the line products and unbeatable customer satisfaction. We cannot wait to get your home and fireplace looking great!

Start the Year Off with a Certified Chimney Inspection

Start the Year Off with a Certified Chimney Inspection

In order for your fireplace and chimney to work efficiently and safely, you must take care of a few routine maintenance tasks. Included in these tasks is a chimney inspection performed by a certified chimney professional. Scheduling this service at the start of the year allows you to enjoy your fireplace without worrying about potential problems all year long. Weststar Chimney Sweeps is proud to offer chimney inspection services, and you can trust our chimney technicians to do the best job possible. All of our technicians have been trained and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to properly inspect chimneys. We would like to tell you why it is so important to have your chimney professionally inspected once a year.Certified Chimney Inspection - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps

Reduce the Risk of Chimney Fires

One of the things Weststar Chimney Sweeps looks for when inspecting chimneys is the amount of creosote deposits that have accumulated on the inner walls of your chimney. A large amount of creosote can be very dangerous as it is an extremely flammable compound. The CSIA has named creosote as the leading cause of chimney fires because it can easily ignite if the internal temperature of your chimney gets hot enough. Once we know how much creosote is inside your chimney, we can then make the best preparations for removing it by sweeping your chimney.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will also check to see if anything like leaves, bricks, or other debris is blocking the flue of your chimney. When your flue is blocked by debris, it can cause the toxic gas carbon monoxide to be forced back into your home. Without a carbon monoxide detector alarm, you could be breathing in carbon monoxide without even knowing it since it is odorless and tasteless. If we do find a blockage, we will remove the debris to make your chimney vent properly and safely.

Prolong the Life of Your Chimney

During our inspection, we will be looking for damage that could cause your chimney to be unsafe to use. Our CSIA-certified sweeps will closely examine the condition of the bricks and mortar of your chimney, as well as its components, including the liner and damper. If we find any type of damage, we will document it and give you photographs of the damage, along with a written inspection report. We can also make recommendations for repairing any damage we find.

Start off the new year by making sure your chimney is in its best condition. Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule an appointment for our certified chimney inspection services.