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What is Creosote?

October 15, 2018


Knowing about a threat is the first step in avoiding it and the potential damage that may be caused. There is no exception when discussing creosote, as the substance is toxic and can quickly turn situations toxic as well. Although not all bad, creosote is what is responsible for the unique flavor of “smoked” meat as it is one of the main byproducts of wood. Creosote consists mostly of tar and can be found inside of smoke rising from flames. As smoke moves up and onward, mixing with cold air and water, it solidifies and sticks inside of the liner of the chimney, or even worse, the bricks themselves. This is such a large hazard due to the fact that creosote is incredibly flammable. And as anyone with a fireplace knows, chimney fires pose a massive threat to both the chimney and mantel as well as the entire house itself. This is why it is so important to avoid creosote buildup before it begins especially considering the fact that creosote does not disappear by itself. Instead, it multiplies exponentially by accumulating upon itself which leads to a tighter space within the chimney flue, leading to an endless cycle of reduced ventilation and continued creosote buildup.

What to Do

It is nearly impossible to keep your chimney completely devoid of creosote as this would require literally never using your fireplace after a good cleaning or having it intensely cleaned each and every time you use it, which is unrealistic. Since creosote forms naturally after fuel sources are burned it is inevitable that most fireplace owners will have some creosote located in their chimney. Although this is not a big deal at all, it is when the creosote is allowed to settle and build up that it is time for concern. The speed at which creosote builds up within a chimney can be greatly reduced by having your chimney both inspected and cleaned at regular intervals, especially if you believe that the chimney may not be working properly or that you may already have a buildup creosote present.

Contact Anderson Fireplace for a Fireplace Today!

Knowing how to maintain your fireplace prior to purchase is a smart as well as safe idea and when it comes to creosote, you can never be too safe. Contact the professionals at Anderson Fireplace today to get yourself a fireplace installed with the proper ventilation!

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