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When you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, scheduling your annual professional chimney maintenance appointment is essential. It prevents dangerous and hazardous situations from occurring in your home. One of the biggest reasons why your chimney needs to be professionally swept every year has to do with creosote. Creosote is a compound that develops naturally during the combustion process of burning wood. Ashbusters has been providing the Nashville area with top quality professional chimney maintenance services for over 30 years. Our team is full of qualified and experienced technicians. Our chimney sweeps have been trained and certified by the leaders in the industry. This includes being certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) so that we can do our job properly and safely. We would like to tell you more about creosote and why it needs to be removed from your chimney.

What exactly is creosote?close up of flaky, shiny creosote

When smoke, gases, and the other byproducts of combustion pass through the cooler upper walls of your chimney, condensation occurs. This transforms these byproducts into creosote, which is a residue that sticks to the inner chimney walls. Creosote can be black or brown, and its texture can range. From crusty and flaky to sticky and tar-like to hardened and shiny, it is a hazard. No matter what creosote may look like, it is always extremely flammable. According to the CSIA, large accumulations of creosote can lead to chimney fires if the internal flue temperature is high enough.

How can I prevent creosote from accumulating inside my chimney?

You can limit the amount of creosote that develops inside your chimney by being aware of the conditions that encourage its accumulation. Make sure that your fireplace has enough air for complete combustion by fully opening the damper and by opening your fireplace doors during a fire. Ashbusters also recommends that you only burn seasoned firewood, which is wood that has been allowed to dry for at least six months after it has been cut. Burning unseasoned wood results in cooler smoke because so much energy is used to burn out trapped water, and this can lead to accelerated accumulations of creosote in your chimney.

The best way to decrease your risk of a devastating chimney fire is with a professional sweeping each year. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will take great care to make sure every bit of creosote has been removed. Not only will your chimney be safer, but you can avoid unpleasant odors as well. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for your annual professional chimney maintenance services.