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Creosote Build-Up: Risks and Solutions

If you’re a homeowner with a chimney, you’re likely familiar with the maintenance and upkeep needed to keep your chimney in tip-top shape. Luckily, if you follow a regular schedule of annual inspections and cleanings, you probably don’t run into too many issues. But if you don’t have a routine, it may be time to consider one. Are you familiar with the dangers of creosote? Read on to learn and you may be convinced to call your local chimney professional!

creosote build-up in Lake Carmel NYWhat is creosote?

Creosote is a common by-product produced during fires. It takes on a tar-like consistency and adheres to the interior walls of your chimney. How? As the creosote travels up your chimney, it combines with moisture and sticks to the chimney flue liner. As it cools, it takes on a tar-like consistency and leaves a stinky, potentially hazardous layer.

Why is it dangerous?

Creosote continues to build a layer on top of layer unless it’s cleaned off. This typically requires the help of professionals as it’s thick and hard to tackle. As it builds up, it creates a thicker layer which restricts the passageway for smoke to exit. This limits airflow and can impact efficiency. 

Additionally, as creosote builds up, any fire can release potentially toxic fumes – especially as it gets more built up. It’s also highly flammable. If excess amounts of creosote ignite it can create a large fire inside your chimney and potentially spread very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), this is a very common source of house fires.

How to tackle creosote build-up

Since creosote is a natural by-product of fires, it’s impossible to completely remove creosote from the picture. However, it’s known that softwood, such as oak and poplar, produces more creosote more quickly than hardwood. So, to minimize build-up, you can consider this when picking firewood.

Besides that, the best solution is to get into a solid routine with your local chimney professionals at Hudson Valley Chimney. Since creosote must be tackled with professional cleaning equipment, it’s important to leave this task to professionals. The NFPA highly encourages homeowners to schedule annual cleanings to stay on top of the build-up.

profesional chimney cleaning in Poughkeepsie NY

However, if you burn fires more often than typical homeowners, it may be recommended to schedule more frequent cleanings. The first step is to call and schedule an inspection and cleaning. This way the professionals can evaluate your chimney from top to bottom and start fresh.

Call Hudson Valley Chimney today

If you’re due for an annual chimney cleaning to take care of harmful creosote, call Hudson Valley Chimney to get an appointment on the books. Our expert team can be reached at 845-471-1071 or by filling out our simple contact form. Hudson Valley Chimney has a thoroughly trained and knowledgeable chimney team that will be happy to discuss options and approaches for your cleaning schedule or any extra build-up remedies. Don’t wait any longer to schedule your annual chimney cleaning. 

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