How Is Creosote Buildup A Health Hazard?

There’s no way to stop the buildup of black residue in your fireplace or flue. While certified chimney sweepspush for regular chimney cleaning, homeowners wonder how black markings could harm them.

Numerous “DIY hacks” circulate the internet and promise to save homeowners money. Just check out this post by Creative Masonry and Chimney that debunks a few chimney cleaning myths.

While these hacks may not be entirely ineffective, they’re not effective enough. To understand why, you need to remember that fire residue is nowhere near harmless—the most hazardous being creosote.

What Is Creosote, And Where Does It Come From?

Creosote is different from soot and ash. While the latter two also have dangers associated with them, they are nowhere near as bad as the former.

When wood burns, sometimes particles drift upwards and are extinguished before they can burn completely. This is how creosote is formed. After rising into your flue, the sticky black substance will adhere to the flue lining, possibly breaking down your chimney’s internal structure.

Since cold weather can increase the rate at which creosote forms, chimney cleaning in CT winters should be a high priority. Delaying it could lead to a complete chimney collapse, meaning that instead of covering the cost of a chimney sweep, you’ll be looking for teams to perform chimney repair in CT.

Unfortunately, while chimney rebuilding or repair might sound like a pain, it’ll be the least of your concerns should you ignore it. Here’s how a creosote-filled flue can affect you (while it’s still standing):

  • It can become blocked and allow poisonous gases like monoxide to drift into your home
  • It can cause combustible substances to settle in the interior of your home, putting you, your family, and your pets at risk of a chimney fire
  • Creosote itself is toxic to come into contact with
  • The flue can combust internally and explode

Dog enjoying fire after chimney cleaning in CT

Preventative Measures

If you’d like to keep your home safe and your costs low, there are expert-approved ways of doing that:

Inspections

The better companies tend to provide free level one inspection with every chimney sweep. However, if you’ve just moved in and don’t know the home’s history, or if you’ve been negligent in the past, levels two or three are better options. Your chimney cleaning team will be able to direct you to give them the history.

Timely cleaning and repair

Whatever results and recommendations the inspection yields need to be swiftly followed to a T.

Accessories

Professionally designed and installed flue accessories are far more effective than hacks. They’ll be selected specifically for your use and flue type.

For some chimney designs, these additions are necessities, whereas, for others, they’re only advisable. It’s always best to let professionals who perform chimney repair make the call because not every installation will be compatible with your flue.

  • Chimney chase covers
  • Chimney caps
  • Flue liners
  • Flashings
  • Waterproofing

Fireplace in need of a chimney sweep in CT

If safety and keeping your house from burning down wasn’t incentive enough, then here’s another. Homeowners’ insurance would cover much of the damage in the case of a chimney collapse or fire.

 To qualify for the maximum coverage, you’d have to show documentation of everything you did to prevent that from happening. This would include regular inspections from a certified chimney sweep and following through with all subsequent suggestions.

Creative Masonry and Chimney has teams of skilled masonry workers who know how to master even the toughest chimney cleanings in CT. They take great pride in hand-selecting the materials and installations for every project. Safety has never been as sleek as their smooth stone finishes.

Winter might be a long way off, but it isn’t complete without a delightfully blazing fire in the hearth. Moreover, monoxide poisoning would be a downer. So take care of all the chimney repair or chimney rebuilding needs. If you’d like to learn about how fireplace materials are chosen, call (860) 225-9178. The more you know, the more you can prevent.

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