Creosote Image - Harrisonburg VA - Old Dominion ChimneysLeave creosote to the professionals

Creosote is described in many forms: chemicals, a wood preservative, pesticide, a flammable liquid, possible carcinogen. Regardless of the form, use, or origin, creosote is toxic and hazardous. If you burn wood in a fireplace or stove, creosote is building up in your chimney and needs to be cleaned away.

For folks with fireplaces and wood stoves, creosote is a cumulative coating of residue and gases that result from burning wood. If you have ever had to clean the crud from a backed-up drain, you get an idea of how creosote builds up and latches to the lining of a chimney. Everything, seen and unseen that has gone down that drain —- grease, hair, debris of all sorts, the list goes on, clings to the pipe and clogs the flow until water and everything else backs up too. And there is usually an odor that goes with it; one that you might often ignore before the backup. It’s quite similar to creosote buildup.

What causes creosote?

As you burn word in your stove or fireplace, that wood gives off gases from chemicals and that is what forms creosote. The rate at which it builds up depends upon the type of wood you burn, how quickly, and how hot you burn it. Creosote doesn’t move. It leaches to the structure and has to be removed. The more time passes, the more creosote builds up. The more creosote builds up, the more of a danger it becomes to the chimney structure and even more importantly, to you and your family. Just as that unattended drain backs up, eventually, your chimney will essentially backup. You might notice an odor, then black soot. But creosote buildup is far more dangerous than a drain pipe overflowing. Creosote will eventually produce carbon monoxide, an odorless gas that kills, and fire. Before that occurs, you may experience coughing or eye irritation.

How do you get rid of creosote?

If you search the internet, you’ll find plenty of do-it-yourself creosote removal methods, products, and videos that are supposed to save you money but you don’t want to mess around with creosote. Some things you need to leave to the professionals. At Old Dominion Chimneys, we have the equipment and training to remove creosote cleanly, safely, and effectively. We’re certified by the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and once we get your chimney cleaned out, we’ll talk to you about annual inspections and cleanings.