The creosote buildup leads to a large number of house fires. Then also, many homeowners avoid chimney cleaning regularly. Before the Industrial Revolution, the chimney sweepers were very much demanded by the home dwellers as they knew the importance of proper chimney cleaning.
The present 21st-century scenario:
Presently, most of the homeowners use gas fuel or electric burners to warm the interior of the home. Yet, some use the traditional wood-burning fireplace that leaves lots of creosote behind it. The flues and the dampers get filled and blocked. It generates an urge for the families to get the chimneys inspected and take appropriate measures every year.
How does the chimney fires get characterized?
If you can hear popping or cracking sounds and see dense smoke coming out from the chimney flue, you must know that your house is in danger as a fire is ignited inside the flue. But, initially, you may not detect it. When the chimney fires become explosive, it will destroy the entire house along with the surrounding areas. The chimney fires can burn and reach a temperature of up to 2,000 degrees F.
What does the fire do?
Firstly, the fire weakens the structure of the masonry chimney after the accumulation of ample creosote. The usual conditions generating the buildup are:
- Poor seasoning
- The cool temperature of the chimney, especially in the places experiencing four seasons
- Overload of the firebox
The frequency of chimney fires:
The statistics of the Chimney Safety Institute America (CSIA) show that there are over 25,000 chimney fires in the US. More than $125 million of property damage are caused. In fact, the number of injuries and human deaths are massive.
The frequency of chimney cleaning:
Always call a reputed chimney sweep agency to hire an expert chimney sweep. The creosote buildup amount depends on the frequency of using the fireplace.
Factors that are responsible for the amount of creosote accumulation:
The volume of the airflow into the chimney
Burning wood that is poorly seasoned
Unburned wood remaining in the firebox
After the examination conducted by the experienced chimney sweep, it can be known if the chimney immediately needs attention.
The modern metal chimneys that are prefabricated are treated in a special way to tolerate the high temperature present in the chimney due to the fire. Hence, severe damage won’t happen.
Guideline for the homeowners:
Check if the ashes are accumulated in the firebox.
Make sure that you are using properly seasoned firewood. If possible, buy or gather the timbers yourself and season them.
Check if the damper is completely open before igniting the fire in the respective firebox.
Never burn painted or pressure-treated wood. It generates poisonous fumes and increases the chances of creosote buildup.
The largest logs should be placed at the fireplace’s bottom. In this way, arrange the smallest ones at the top. Top the entire pile with crushed newspaper. Start fire. It helps in lessening the creosote buildup.
Always call a professional chimney inspector for an annual inspection. Approach a reputed and highly experienced chimney sweep for cleaning the chimney mechanically, removal of tar, soot, and creosote.
Chimney Sweep: Your solution for the dirty chimneys
See if the chimney sweep you are calling is insured and trustworthy, whether he/she possess proper identity card and company reference, etc. Also, check if the sweep has arrived at your place inaccurate uniform and equipment and behaving professionally.
A certified sweep will check your chimney from top to the bottom. He or she will let you see the condition prevailing inside the chimney with the help of a camera. If your chimney is in regular use, make sure to opt for an annual chimney inspection. It will benefit the use of fuel too.
Even, if the chimney is not in use for years, yet a thorough cleaning is required before starting afire as unwanted substances like leaves, dirt, small animals, insects, etc. can be present inside it. To avoid any kind of mishap, take help from the certified chimney sweeping team.