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How to Remove Glazed Creosote from Chimney: Everything You Must Know

How to remove glazed creosote from chimney


Creosote buildup is one of the signs of a chimney fire. It could mean that your chimney experienced a fire, and you didn’t realize it. But, it could also be a potential hazard. For that reason, you must know how to remove glazed creosote from a chimney.

Having a chimney is a great responsibility as you have to be on top of its maintenance. Your chimney won’t work if you don’t give it proper care. So, when talking about creosote, you have to pay close attention if your chimney has high buildup levels.

We invite you to read our blog to learn more about this byproduct. We will discuss what causes glazed creosote and its three forms. Also, we will talk about how to remove and prevent it.

What Is Creosote?

So, what exactly is creosote?

Creosote is a byproduct of wood burning. When you burn wood, you expect it to burn completely. But, this may not happen if there is no proper air flowing to your fire. This inadequate airflow starves the fire, which leads to your wood not burning completely.

The wood that didn’t completely burn has oils that travel through the smoke produced by the burning. As the smoke rises, it starts to cool. Finally, it condenses with water and other chemicals on your chimney’s flue, and this is what we know as creosote.

What is so damaging about creosote is that it is a flammable and corrosive substance. So, it could result in a potential chimney fire. A chimney fire can destroy the flue lining, which can result in a house fire.

Creosote buildup can also cause chimney obstruction. As a result, the combustion gases from wood-burning can’t exit through the chimney. It can cause toxic gases to enter your home and affect your health.

What Causes Glazed Creosote in Your Chimney?

Unseasoned firewood causes glazed creosote

As we said before, creosote results from wood-burning; but, the amount of creosote is small if you use the correct type of wood to burn in your fireplace.

So, what causes high levels of creosote buildup?

The first cause of creosote is a smoldering fire; this fire burns slowly with smoke but no flame. It produces less combustion, which results in more creosote.

Another cause of creosote buildup is burning wood that is not seasoned. Unseasoned wood is that type of wood that fills up a chimney with creosote most quickly. So, it would help if you never use it to burn in your fireplace.

Wood should go through a drying process of six months. After that, it is ready to use for burning.

What Are the Three Forms of Creosote?

Use creosote remover to get rid of glazed creosote

There are three forms, levels, or degrees of creosote. When you have a professional come and clean your chimney, they should be able to recognize the type of creosote.

1st-degree creosote is the easiest to remove. You only need a chimney brush to clean off the creosote from the liner.

2nd-degree creosote will look like shiny, hard, black flakes. This type of creosote is harder to remove. Some chimney professionals use rotary loops and drills to remove 2nd-degree creosote.

3rd-degree creosote is the most difficult to remove. This type of creosote is what we know as glazed creosote. It is also the most hazardous one. It is because this type of creosote is the one responsible for most chimney and house fires.

All types of creosote are highly flammable. But, it is almost impossible to stop a chimney fire once glazed creosote has started to burn. 3rd-degree creosote is also challenging to control, so it can quickly spread to the rest of your house.

When you find out that your chimney is full of glazed creosote, don’t continue using it.

How to Remove Glazed Creosote from Chimney?

To know how to remove glazed creosote from a chimney, you’ll need more than a chisel. You’ll have to buy a creosote remover that will not damage the chimney. An alternative to removing glazed creosote is to replace your chimney liner.

To get rid of glazed creosote, you’ll need chemical treatment or a creosote remover. It is because 3rd-degree creosote is hard.

In other words, you wouldn’t be able to remove it using a brush or even a chisel. You could end up damaging your chimney liner by using heavy-duty tools. So, don’t even try removing this type of creosote with these tools.

You can find various chemical treatments in liquid or powder form. We recommend the powder form as it is more effective. What you do is apply the powder to the chimney walls and the flue tile.

The creosote will absorb the treatment and start to soften and flake. This is when you can brush off or vacuum what’s left of the creosote.

However, some people may find that this process is time-consuming. So, you have the option to have your chimney relined altogether.

How Can You Prevent Glazed Creosote?

The best way to prevent glazed creosote from sticking to your chimney is only to fire seasoned firewood. If you stop burning unseasoned firewood, then you’ll notice how your chimney produces less creosote.

Proper chimney maintenance can also help prevent glazed creosote. By having regular chimney cleaning, you’ll reduce the amount of creosote buildup. Also, you must schedule annual chimney inspections. It will allow you to tell if you need a chimney repair or sweeping.

To get quality chimney service, you can contact our professionals. Call us and schedule an appointment.

Even though you now know how to remove glazed creosote from a chimney, you must not attempt to do this yourself. It is a job that you should leave only to professionals. It doesn’t matter if you have the right tools and equipment. It’s better to let the experts handle this.

Get in touch with us today! We will come and inspect your chimney and figure out the level of creosote that your chimney has. As a result, we will determine the solution to have your chimney in top shape all over again.


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