Home Improvements

What Causes Soot Buildup In Chimney And How To Remove It

If you have a chimney in your house, you might have come across soot buildup numerous times. While soot is a byproduct of the woods that burn in the fireplace but extreme accumulation or buildup is not normal. Creosote buildup can decrease the performance of the fireplace and even cause a fire hazard. You need chimney sweep services to clean soot from your chimney. So, let’s take a look at the causes of soot buildup in the chimney and how you can remove it.

What Causes Soot Buildup?

Before you can remove soot buildup in your chimney, you should understand how it builds up. As mentioned previously, soot is a direct result of the wood that is burning in your fireplace. As the wood burns, it creates a black smoke, which contains creosote. Creosote buildup takes place when the smoke does not rise fast enough. As a result, creosote can accumulate inside the chimney.

Initially, creosote or soot is easy to clean and remove. However, if you ignore it, the accumulation turns stubborn, which takes a lot more time and effort to clean and remove. That said, creosote is usually divided into three stages.

In the first stage, the chimney will have some creosote deposits as the woods burn. This does not call for concern but if you leave it at that, it will certainly cause problems down the road.

In the second stage, the soot buildup will turn the chimney black from the inside and you will have a relatively hard time removing it. You can try removing it using appropriate tools and chemicals but if not, you will need to call in a professional.

And the third stage is not only complicated when it comes to cleaning but also dangerous as it sparks fires. At this point, the creosote buildup is so extreme that only a professional will be able to remove it, if possible. However, chances are that your chimney liner will need to be replaced during the process.

How Do You Get Rid Of Soot And Creosote?

You might find it surprising that cleaning and removing creosote is fairly easy. All you need is a tool along with a chemical that allows you access to the chimney and you can simply wipe away the creosote. Even though creosote buildup usually depends on the frequency of fireplace usage, you should thoroughly clean it at least once a month.

On the other hand, if you are using it daily, you should brush or unclog it at least once a week. Once you are done cleaning the chimney, you should make sure to sweep the bottom of the fireplace so that it does not catch sparks and cause a fire.

However, as mentioned earlier, if the creosote buildup reaches the second or third stage, you may not be able to clean it all. Therefore, you will need to consult a professional who will thoroughly clean it making sure your chimney runs flawlessly.

How To Minimize Soot And Creosote Buildup?

Creosote is a byproduct of burning wood and there is nothing you can do about it. But you can certainly minimize it. For instance, you should always use seasoned wood, which contains little to no moisture. As a result, the smoke will rise faster.

Meanwhile, it is your responsibility to clean the chimney so that the smoke can easily exit. This ensures both safety and security.

How Much Soot And Creosote Are Too Dangerous?

The biggest misconception about creosote buildup is that you never know when it can turn dangerous. Although it is usually not that dangerous in the initial stages either but all it takes is a single spark. This is why experts recommend never taking chances and waiting for the professional to show up. You should clean it on your own before creosote can turn extreme and you risk your loved ones as a result.

And finally, creosote buildup is not only dangerous because it can cause a spark but also due to the fact that toxic gases can make their way inside the house and can lead to health problems.

Final Word

In the end, tracking and removing soot and creosote buildup is of utmost importance if you are using your fireplace quite often. You might be able to remove creosote in the first two stages but once it is past that, you will need chimney contractors Bowie for removing stubborn accumulation.

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