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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.

Let Our Experts Get Rid Of Your Glazed Creosote

Let Our Experts Get Rid Of Your Glazed Creosote

One of the biggest reasons why the CSIA stresses the importance of annual inspections is so sweeps can evaluate whether or not you have excessive creosote buildup inside of your chimney. Should dangerous amounts be present, having it removed will allow for a safer and better functioning fireplace, sure to bring countless nights of peace, warmth, and comfort. Learn more about creosote below!Let Us Get Rid Of Your Creosote - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps

What Is Creosote?

Creosote is a substance that builds up in your chimney as you light fires in the fireplace. It comes in a few different forms, ranging from soft and flaky to sticky and tar-like to hard and glazed. So no matter the texture, creosote is very damaging and dangerous to have in your chimney, which is why regular removal is important.

The reason why creosote triggers so many problems is due to its highly flammable nature. The more you have, the higher your risk is for a chimney fire, which causes significant structural damage and makes your fireplace unsafe and unsuitable for regular use.

Unfortunately, not all chimney fires are created equal. It may seem like they all would be loud and obvious, but many are quite quiet, meaning homeowners are unaware their system has undergone excessive damage. This means that they’ll continue to light fires and use their chimney, which could pose serious threats to their home and family in the form of gas leaks and house fires.

When Is Deglazing Necessary?

Now, for those who invest in regular inspections and maintenance, any creosote buildup should not be especially challenging to remove. Yet, fireplaces that have faced longer periods of neglect or misuse may find themselves with glazed creosote throughout, which is more challenging to take on.

Glazed creosote needs to be approached differently than your standard creosote buildup, as it is thicker, more solid, and essentially baked onto your chimney walls. Attempting removal without the proper tools and equipment will not get the job done, and it will likely cause damage to your chimney interior in the process.

If your find yourself face-to-face with glazed creosote, the best option would be to invest in help from a CSIA certified sweep, like the crew at Weststar Chimney Sweeps. This is the only way to avoid bigger issues down the line, and it will get the job taken care of in the most efficient manner possible. Investing in professional help will always yield the quickest and least expensive results overall, so be sure to contact us right away if you suspect trouble.

Need An Inspection?

Not sure where your chimney stands in terms of creosote accumulation? Sounds like it’s time for an inspection. Our professional and experienced crew can look things over for you, then assess whether or not further repair or sweeping services are necessary. Together, we can find the best solutions for your needs, so give us a call soon!

What Causes Chimney Odors?

Are you noticing some bad odors throughout your household? There’s a good chance they are coming from your chimney! While this is not an ideal situation to be in, it’s definitely one that’s fixable with the help of Weststar Chimney Sweeps. We have everything you need to get your home smelling fresh again!

Check out the more common issues we see when homeowners report bad smells from their fireplace.

Air Pressure

When it comes to the air pressure throughout your home, finding the right balance can prove to be a challenge, especially when you have a chimney. When the draft reverses and brings outside air down your chimney and into your home, you often find yourself facing some pretty nasty odors.

There are many reasons why poor air ventilation may occur. Whether your chimney has structural issues, clogs, debris buildup, or damaged parts, we can offer you a solution. We are CSIA trained and certified to take on any task you throw our way! Give us a call today.

Creosote Build-Up

There’s no doubt that creosote can trigger some pretty bad odors. The more it builds up, the more vulnerable your home becomes! We can help you out by offering a thorough chimney sweeping. That should help a lot! If it still doesn’t completely solve the problem, we can offer lots of helpful products and/or suggestions as far as clearing out that smell for good.

Moisture

Excess moisture can cause musty odors to develop in your home. This makes your entire home’s aesthetic rather unpleasant. When this moisture combines with the creosote in your chimney, the smell only gets worse. On top of this, too much water causes all kinds of issues, such as rot, rust, stains, mold, clogs, build-up, and more. All in all, water can do a lot of damage to your chimney!

Learn about our leak repair and waterproofing services by visiting us online today! We can keep your home free from water and the nasty smells that come with it.

Animals

Animals can cause bad odors in more ways than one. First of all, once they get stuck, their droppings will start to accumulate and the smells from that can easily enter your home. Also, if they pass away and start to decompose, you’ll notice terrible smells from that, too (as well as pest infestation).

We can remove bird nestings from your chimney, so they won’t keep returning, and we can also install a chimney cap, so you won’t have to face this problem again – turn to us today!

What Are You Waiting For?

At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we make the customer our number one priority. We believe there is no problem we can’t fix, and we love setting people up with the fireplaces of their dreams. Please call us today, so we can schedule your appointment – together we can do anything!

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!

Do I Really Need An Inspection Every Year?

Do I Really Need An Inspection Every Year?

Chimney Inspections Yearly Image - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney SweepsChimney maintenance can be a tedious task. Between cleanings, hauling fuel around, and worrying about repairs, your fireplace can wind up taking a lot of your time and money. Most people feel the extra effort is well worth it when they are seated around a warm flame with their friends and family. Yet, many still find themselves wondering if certain jobs are really necessary.

Hiring an expert for a regular check-up is one area where skimping is not an option. Whether you burn wood, gas, oil, or something else, a yearly inspection is always something to put on your Fall to-do list.

There are countless factors that could cause a chimney to malfunction, all of which put your home and family at an increased risk. By calling in a CSIA-certified professional, you can rest easy during this upcoming holiday season knowing your fireplace is safe and ready for regular use.

Avoiding Dangerous Toxins

One thing inspections help prevent is the risk of smoke and other hazardous gases entering the home. If debris and excess residue builds up, it makes it difficult for the fireplace to vent properly. With nowhere else to go, these fumes will work their way back through the chimney and into your living room. Not only does this cause nasty odors and potential damage to furniture, it could put your family’s health at risk, as well.

Preventing Potential Fires

The potential for house fires increases as your chimney gets dirtier. If your chimney is in need of repair, you should definitely wait to light any fires until a chimney sweep gives you the okay. A professional knows where to look and how to address any possible issues. They can also offer guidance as far as preventing damage from occurring down the line.

A build-up of creosote and other debris is another common cause of fires. Creosote is highly flammable, so you do not want to put your fireplace to use if you know a cleaning is in order. Also, bird’s nest, leaves, twigs, and countless other items accumulate quickly when your chimney is not being used as frequently. Getting someone in to clean that stuff out will allow you the ability to relax and enjoy your fireplace to the fullest.

Turn To Us

At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we know that a fireplace can become the focal point of anyone’s home. It is the favored spot during family get-togethers, and a night in with loved ones is made perfect when you set the scene with a crackling fire.

Don’t let a dirty chimney ruin your upcoming holiday season. The experts at Weststar Chimney Sweeps are all CSIA trained and certified, so you know your fireplace is in the best hands possible when you depend on us. Give us a call today to schedule your annual inspection.