If you are burning wood in your fireplace, you are bound to experience some creosote, which is made from an oil, forming on the walls of the chimney. It can range in color from brown to black and be hard or shiny. Some may be flaky, while other forms of creosote can have a gummy texture. Creosote is a major cause of chimney fires and requires your chimney to be cleaned and inspected to ensure it is safe. On average, experts recommend having your chimney inspected at least once a year. This will give you a better idea of how often your chimney should be cleaned. If you have a lot of creosote buildup, you will want to clean it more frequently than if you do not see a lot of buildup during inspections. To help keep your chimney clean and safe, here are four tips.
Choose Dry Wood
When you do go to use your chimney, you can choose between dry wood or wet wood to burn. If you choose wet wood for your fireplace, you will notice it smoking more and it will not get as hot. Dry wood will burn hotter and helps heat up the creosote so that it burns up as well.
Use Creosote Remover Powder
If you really want to limit how much creosote buildup you get in your chimney, then you can opt for a creosote remover powder. This substance helps turn creosote that has not burned in the fire into a powder. While you still want to make sure you are regularly inspecting and cleaning your chimney, this remover powder will help reduce the amount of creosote that forms in your chimney.
Clean Your Chimney
Keeping your chimney clean is the best way to avoid a large buildup of creosote. You want to look for signs that your chimney may need cleaning in between your yearly inspections. If you see that there is a lot of smoke coming into your home from the chimney, this can be a sign your chimney needs cleaning. Once you start cleaning, you can then determine what stage creosote you are dealing with. Stage 1 consists of flaky soot, stage 2 includes hard black flakes, and stage 3 is more of a tar-like substance. Stage 3 is the most dangerous so you want to clean the chimney before this begins to appear.
Burn Hard Wood
When burning wood in your chimney, you want to make sure you are burning the hardest wood you can find. The more pitch in the wood, the more likely you are to get creosote buildup. Make sure you are burning a hard wood like from firs. This will help reduce the amount of creosote buildup in your chimney. Contact a chimney company, like Flue Doctor Chimney Service, for more help.