How to Get Rid of Creosote
Watching the flames dancing in the fireplace and hearing the crackle of the fire brings many good memories to mind yet there is a hidden danger to this enjoyable favorite. Creosote, which is the black residue leftover from burning wood in your fireplace or stove. Over time and left alone this residue hardens and can catch on fire, leading to significant damage and put a family at risk.
Get Your Chimney Inspected
One of the first and most important things you can do is have your chimney inspected yearly. Creosote can build up quickly and other problems can emerge that you may not be able to see by simply poking your head up through the fireplace. Hiring a professional chimney sweep may do more than save you from the physical labor of cleaning it yourself, it can save your life as they are trained to look for potential problems. A professional chimney sweep will not only inspect the chimney and flue, they will clean it thoroughly and are trained to use products intended to dissolve the creosote buildup.
Try Chimney Cleaning Logs
One product that has taken the market by storm are referred to as chimney cleaning logs that you burn in your fireplace or wood-burning stove. These logs are designed to burn for approximately 90 minutes or more and burn at a very high temperature. The logs are loaded with additives or minerals that are released when burnt. These are activated as smoke and coats the creosote on the inside of the fireplace and the flue, virtually crystallizing it. The creosote is now thinner and less likely to cause a fire. This can be done by itself or a few weeks before a professional cleaning, making that cleaning a bit easier and potentially more effective.
Use Chemicals to Dissolve the Creosote
There are chemicals that can be purchased and applied by the homeowner to dissolve the creosote. It is applied through a spray and scrubbed off or applied with a scrubber that has been dunked in the concentration. It might take awhile to dissolve the oil in the creosote, however, the time taken to perform this task could save your home and your life.
Having your fireplace or wood-burning stove inspected yearly and using precautions will ensure that you can enjoy it for years to come. As with many things, this can become a complicated matter and you should be sure to check the credentials of any professional that cleans or inspects your home.