The job of the chimney sweep is to remove soot, blockages and built-up creosote from your chimney liner, firebox, smoke chamber and damper. This cleaning will help create a safer operation of your system during the heating season. It takes only a small accumulation of creosote glazing to create the potential for a chimney fire. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up inside your chimney or liner as a result of burning wood. The rate of accumulation can be higher if you apply poor burning techniques or have a burning appliance that is defective. Different types of wood create different amounts of creosote when burned. Pine causes a rapid build-up of creosote and should be avoided as a regular source of heat. Creosote can also reduce the draw and efficiency of your fireplace.
To be sure that all of your systems are in working order, chimney professionals recommend homeowners request annual inspections. Most homeowners follow up with inspections because of how frequently they use their fireplace. Other venting systems connected to furnaces and stoves should also be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent any safety hazards. Fireplace, stove, furnace and heating appliance systems are important to your home and families safety and not areas to neglect because of their high risks. Don’t risk the chance that an undiscovered defect could turn into an expensive repair or even a chimney fire.
Smoke is the unburned components of wood and when the smoke cools, it becomes a resin or tar. When the smoke cools as it travels up the components of the fire burning system it cools and when it comes to rest on the walls of the flue system it builds up as the black stuff, known as creosote.
There are three degrees of creosote formation; 1st degree appears as a powdery brown/black substance (most common referred to as soot), 2nd degree is when the creosote builds up to a flaky appearance, occasionally resembling the walls of a beehive. The 3rd degree is the most dangerous, also known as glazing, is when the creosote resembles an oily rocky substance. Creosote 1st & 2nd degree can in most cases be easily removed with the use of a brush, while the 3rd degree requires additional methods to be removed. The methods of removing 3rd degree creosote include:
- With the use of mechanical assistance equipped with a rotary head made of steel or plastic. The rotation of the drill will cause friction on the creosote removing it from the walls of the flue.
- Treating the creosote with a substance that modifies it to a state where it can be brushed away
PRC Poultice Creosote Remover removes 3rd degree creosote on flue tiles; when applied it dissolves the creosote and absorbing it as it dries. The creosote-infused PRC will then lose its adhesion and fall from the flue walls; any remaining PRC will need to be removed by certified chimney sweeps.