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Buildup Is a Bad Word

It might not have four letters, but buildup is definitely a word you don’t want to hear when it comes to your chimney. This is true of just about anything around the house: whether it’s the grime or gunk on the shower, tub, sink, floors, windows…you get the picture—buildup usually means we’ve allowed something unpleasant to layer up, resulting in extra work spraying, scrubbing, and sweating to remove whatever-it-is.

Your chimney suffers from buildup, too—only this kind of buildup isn’t harmless and can’t be resolved with a little extra elbow grease. Creosote is a natural by-product of a wood fire. It starts as vapors made of unburned gases and turns into tar-like glop that likes to stick to the inside of your chimney flue. It has a bad smell, kind of like asphalt or tar, but this isn’t the worst thing about it. When it builds up inside your flue, it traps heat inside the chimney instead of letting it out, which can generate enough heat for the creosote to catch fire. Creosote is a fuel, and a highly combustible one, that causes an average of 24,000 home fires per year.

Creosote buildup can increase substantially if you are burning green or wet wood. Make sure to use properly seasoned firewood.

Creosote buildup can increase substantially if you are burning green or wet wood. Make sure to use properly seasoned firewood.

Home fires aren’t the only thing that creosote buildup is responsible for. Not only is it a fuel, but it is also corrosive and can damage the flue lining, causing erosion or cracks that lead to other problems, like water damage, that affect the structure of your home.

A to Z can take care of this chimney menace for you. We are certified to sweep your chimney, which is just another way of saying we get rid of creosote and make sure your chimney is free of any obstruction that might cause a chimney fire and endanger you and your home.

Having your chimney inspected and cleaned annually is the best way to ward off the ominous creosote buildup, and doing it during the spring and summer is really the best way to go. The fireplace may be the last thing on your mind when it’s hot outside and you’re doing everything you can to stay cool, but it’s important to get rid of the creosote right after the cold season, that way it doesn’t have time to sit and corrode your chimney flue all year while your fireplace isn’t in use. So don’t wait around—we make it easy to schedule your appointment—you can give us a call or fill in this quick online form to get started today.