Did you know that there are three stages of creosote buildup? First is the level 1 creosote buildup, this is when creosote dust starts to form. Then, there is level 2 creosote buildup, this occurs when creosote starts to turn into shiny black flakes. Level 3 creosote, also called glazed creosote, is the most severe type of creosote buildup. This is when it gets to the point that there is a hardened, thick layer of creosote covering the entire inside of your chimney.
When creosote buildup gets to this point, it is very difficult to remove. The tools we normally use to clean out your chimney won’t work. At Leonard & Sons, we’ve come across a lot of messy chimneys, and we’ve cleaned them all! Let us help you to understand the dangers of glazed creosote and what can be done to remove it to protect your family and home.
What is glazed creosote?
Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood in your fireplace. Even if you are burning dried seasoned wood in your fireplace, creosote will slowly and steadily build up in your fireplace. Glazed creosote is different. It is created when creosote accumulates at a faster than normal rate on the inside of your chimney, preventing previous layers of creosote to dry all the way. When glazed creosote has time to dry, it creates an incredibly dense and extremely hard creosote – glazed creosote.
Glazed creosote is often formed by burning green wood that has a high moisture content. Green wood usually burns slower and not as hot, which creates glazed creosote. This is why it is important to burn well seasoned wood.
Glazed creosote combusts very easily, and a hot fire can cause it to ignite. Once ignited, a glazed creosote fire burns very hot and very quickly, and can spread to your roof and other parts of your home very easily. In addition to being a fire hazard, glazed creosote is incredibly dense, so it can also cause structural issues with your chimney if enough of it accumulates.
We can get rid of glazed creosote!
At Leonard & Sons, our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweeps can get rid of even the most difficult and stubborn glazed creosote. Glazed creosote cannot be removed using normal chimney sweeping tools, so we use a product called Poultice Creosote Remover (PCR). It works by dissolving the glazed creosote and then absorbing it. When the PCR dries, it becomes flaky and falls off of the flue liner and into the firebox. Then we will clean it all up once it all falls off.
If you have concerns about glazed creosote in your chimney, give Leonard & Sons a call at 847-658-7659 or schedule an appointment online. With over 50 years in the chimney business, you can trust our service is second to none!