A well-maintained fireplace can make your home warm and cozy. A poorly maintained fireplace can put you and your home in danger. Chimney fires are incredibly hazardous because your chimney is not built to contain fire above a certain temperature, meaning it can spread rapidly to other parts of your home. You can avoid chimney fires, smoke damage and deadly carbon monoxide poisoning with regular maintenance of your fireplace and chimney.
What is creosote?
One of the main culprits of chimney fires in a wood-burning fireplace is creosote. Creosote is a byproduct that builds up inside your chimney as a result of burning wood. It is highly flammable and can block airflow, sending smoke and carbon monoxide back into your home. Creosote forms in phases:
- Begins as a flaky deposit that can be easily brushed away.
- Turns into a tar-like deposit which can be difficult to remove.
- Becomes a hardened glaze and is very difficult to remove.