Our Company Blog

Creosote in a Nutshell

We know you care about keeping your family safe. One way to keep your family safe while at home is to minimize the likelihood of a deadly chimney fire. One way to minimize this risk is to make sure you do not allow creosote to accumulate.

Creosote is no laughing matter. The professionals at Lords Chimney can provide you with a wealth of information and service to give you that added peace of mind!

Creosote is no laughing matter. The professionals at Lords Chimney can provide you with a wealth of information and service to give you that added peace of mind!

For homeowners with chimneys, there is one other thing that they worry about specifically – creosote. According to our team of experts here at Lords Chimney, more than 70% of the inquiries and concerns we receive from our loyal customers involve creosote in some form or fashion. So what exactly is creosote anyway?

If you look online you’ll see a lot of definitions filled with scientific jargon that would just confuse you a lot more than you may already be. But the definition from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry describes and defines creosote in a simple and uncomplicated way. According to the ATSDR, creosote is basically the chemical byproduct of burning. There are different varieties of creosote. There’s the Wood, Coal Tar Pitch, Coal Tar Pitch Volatiles and Coal Tar. But basically they are all referred to collectively as creosote.

Why should we worry?

Although seemingly harmless during the beginning stages, creosote can quickly become extremely dangerous when left alone. You see, since it is a byproduct of burning, this means that it would constantly be produced whenever there’s burning of any kind in your chimney system. Once it is produced, it sticks to various parts of the fireplace and chimney. If it accumulates further, it becomes this thick volatile layer that is one of the number one culprits of chimney and house fires.

What can we do?

The best thing we can do to prevent things from getting out of hand is to properly maintain your chimney. Schedule regular inspections and cleanings to make sure that creosote build-up never gets a chance to reach threatening levels, which, in turn, would guarantee safety for your home and your family. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a phone and schedule an appointment right now. You can count on us for quality and dependable chimney and fireplace services. Lords Chimney is ready to help!

Extending Your Chimney’s Lifespan

Taking good care of your chimney can lengthen its lifetime and increase its functionality.

Taking good care of your chimney can lengthen its lifetime and increase its functionality.

Many tend to take their fireplace and chimney for granted, believing it should last the lifetime of the home. However, if ignored, chimneys can become unusable if the liners are damaged or if other parts need repairing, and they can even suffer structural damage due to water penetration and collapse. Proper chimney maintenance is essential in keeping your fireplace safe to use, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America. If you practice good maintenance of your chimney, you prolong its life, and Lords Chimney provides all sorts of chimney services to help you take care of your chimney. Your chimney’s lifespan is important, and our CSIA-certified technicians are here with several ways of practicing the best chimney maintenance to extend that lifespan.

schedule an annual chimney sweeping and inspection

As CSIA states, “dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires,” and this is the most important reason you need to schedule a sweeping and inspection of your chimney with Lords Chimney. Our experienced sweepers will remove dangerous fire hazards like animal nesting and creosote build-up and then inspect your chimney thoroughly to see if any repairs need to be done and to look for water penetration damage. Every part of your chimney, from your flue liner to your masonry to your flashing and more, will be visually inspected, prolonging its life as crucial and needed repairs could be discovered.

replace your chimney liner, if needed

If you have cracks in your flue liner, carbon monoxide can enter your home and cause serious health issues for you and your family. If your chimney does not have a liner, as many older chimneys do not, the risk is even worse, and you should definitely contact Lords Chimney about our chimney liner services. Essential for containing chimney fires, protecting your chimney walls from dangerous creosote build-up, and improving its efficiency, an undamaged chimney liner truly adds years to the life of your chimney. We carry and install tough and durable stainless steel liners as well as HeatShield treatments for cracked liners that need resurfacing.

waterproof your chimney

If you have a masonry chimney, the CSIA claims that water is the biggest enemy your chimney has to battle. Our certified technicians at Lords Chimney are trained and experienced experts on resolving chimney leaks. The amount of damage caused by water penetration is enormous, from loose bricks and chipped mortar to a tilted or collapsed chimney structure. To protect your chimney from water leaks, Lords Chimney recommends waterproofing your chimney because keeping water out extends the life of your chimney. Using ChimneySaver, a breathable treatment, exclusively, our technicians will spray this water repellent all over the walls of your chimney, and we only have to use one coating as ChimneySaver contains patented siloxanes small enough to penetrate masonry pores, forming a strong bond with the silica in masonry and concrete. Being breathable, water vapors are able to escape your masonry, keeping freeze-thaw damage, deterioration, and other problems at bay.

Contact Lords Chimney today to talk to our staff about these ways of extending the life of your chimney, as well as to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection.

Spring Checklist for Your Chimney

This Spring, make your chimney a top priority on your home maintenance list.

This Spring, make your chimney a top priority on your home maintenance list.

After a long, bitter winter everyone is welcoming warmer temperatures with open arms. While it’s not exactly spring yet, the to-do lists are in the works and one thing that is commonly being forgotten about is the chimney maintenance. This is not good for your house or your health because neglecting chimney care can cause danger to the entire home. Two things that must be done every season are the sweep and the inspection. Call Lords Chimney to get an appointment with a quality chimney technician today.

How many chimney sweeps do you actually need?

If your technician tries to tell you that you need two sweeps a year, the reality is that this is true information, especially if you are a frequent user. The more you use the fireplace, the more wood is burned to release creosote. One sweep should be done after burning season to remove this buildup before temperatures get hot in the summer. However, another sweep should be done before burning season to remove anything natural that may have built up over the summer. It is important to have a technician that is Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified perform your sweep.

Common repairs to the chimney?

Winter storms can be rough on a chimney’s structure, so the spring season is often the time to start these repairs. Your technician will be sure to check the rain cap and flashing before the wet season begins. You will also want to make sure that there is a good seal on the chimney. Once the unit freezes and thaws in the cold, wet weather, the caulk will begin to crack and loosen which could lead to water being allowed to collect and mold to form. After you have your repairs and sweep, your technician may recommend having the chimney waterproofed if you live in a wet climate.

Is my chimney turning into a zoo?

When animals enter your chimney it is important to remember to remain calm. Next, call us because we have experience with both living birds and animals and with removing carcasses. If you try to remove the animal yourself you could both be hurt. As animals use your chimney to nest, having a sweep will help remove some of their droppings.