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It may not have seemed like a big deal during the summer, but the soot and creosote that built up last winter in your chimney is a problem. It’s important that your chimney system is ready for burn season, and that means no soot, creosote, or other debris.

What is It?Sweep Away Creosote - Valparaiso IN - Northwest Fireplace and Chimney

Soot and creosote are natural byproducts that are made as the fire burns. Soot is made up mostly of carbon and can be corrosive to the liner and masonry, especially when combined with moisture or humidity like summer air. Creosote is made up mostly of tar and is sticky in nature. It can build up quickly, especially when a chimney is not efficient and when it isn’t swept regularly.

Why Sweeps are Important

A standard chimney sweep cleans the entire chimney from top to bottom. During a Northwest Fireplace & Chimney standard chimney sweep, a certified technician will clean the system of soot and creosote using special brushes and industrial vacuuming system. Regular sweeps keep the system working safely and efficiently. A dirty chimney will quickly become a problem as the airflow is slowed and obstructed.

Stage 3 Buildup

If creosote isn’t cleaned out and swept away regularly, it can result in a dangerous build-up called stage 3, or glazed, creosote. It gets its name because as the creosote is heated, it boils and water evaporates, leaving behind a hardened “glazed” mass of concentrated tar. Glazed creosote is both flammable and difficult to remove. As it obstructs the flue and chimney system and the air slows down, hot embers and heated air can ignite the creosote, resulting in a dangerous and high-temperature fire. In order to remove glazed creosote, a professional has to apply an industrial solution that removes the substance as it’s absorbed, and then it can be swept away.

Creosote Fires

Creosote fires happen fast. They burn fast and hot and often damage the chimney when the gases escape. All of this can happen without the homeowner even knowing! If you experience a chimney fire, there will likely be damage that you cannot see, and that you will not be able to catch or repair on your own. Just like you need to have a certified chimney sweep service your regularly, it should also be professionally inspected regularly, and any damages should be repaired professionally.

Your Clean Chimney

A clean chimney is a safe chimney. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) agree: regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections are the only way for your chimney system to be safe and efficient season after season. Your clean chimney will also have less drafting issues, odors will be eliminated, you’ll need less firewood to reach the desired temperature, and you’ll avoid unnecessary costs and damage. In order to prevent problems this winter, schedule now–BEFORE the fall rush! Have the soot and creosote cleaned away now and your fireplace and chimney will be ready for the first fire this fall.

Schedule with Northwest Chimney & Fireplace online or call today at 219-413-2349.