Due to the weather, we are experiencing intermittent power outage and loss of internet. Please expect delays and or rescheduling of appointments during this time. We will reach out to you as soon as we can. Stay warm and stay safe!
If you’ve ever noticed any gummy-looking black stuff in your chimney, chances are it’s creosote. This dark residue is a byproduct of burning wood and it sticks to the inner walls of chimneys. It can be either flaky, shiny, or sticky.
And since creosote forms through burning wood, it is naturally prone to catching on fire. As such, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) highlights its high combustibility as a primary safety concern.
Yes! Creosote is a combustible byproduct that can easily catch fire. And once it ignites, it can quickly spread through the chimney, causing the liner to break down and the masonry to crumble and crack. This means any future fires you light will be more prone to escape the chimney walls and enter your home.
Creosote can also accumulate until it clogs the flue. This blocks the free flow of gases and smoke causing problems with drafting and airflow to develop. This hinders efficiency levels, and it puts you more at risk of being exposed to hazardous fumes, like smoke from your fires or even carbon monoxide – a deadly and extremely hard-to-detect gas.
Considering the health and safety hazards that creosote poses, regular chimney sweepings become a critical obligation. Professional chimney sweeps have the right equipment to assess any chimney’s condition and address creosote buildup before it becomes a problem.
While creosote isn’t unavoidable, there are ways to effectively reduce accumulation in your flue:
Most chimney fires move slowly and don’t produce a lot of noise, which means you may have had one without noticing. The CSIA identifies the following signs that your chimney could have survived fire before:
If you do notice that a chimney fire is currently occurring, exit the home immediately and get in touch with your local fire department as soon as possible. In addition, as you are leaving your home, the CSIA suggests closing the door behind you if you can. The goal is to prevent any more air from feeding the flames until the fire department arrives.
Even if you believe that your chimney is functioning correctly, there could be hazards hiding away, ready to cause issues. Scheduling a chimney inspection is one way to gain peace of mind, during which we can determine if you need a sweeping.
Creosote is a dangerous byproduct that you might fail to notice immediately. This material is combustible and can cause health and fire hazards in your home. To effectively avoid this issue, we suggest getting in touch with one of our CSIA certified chimney sweeping experts to inspect and clean your chimney. Schedule an inspection today!
Keeping the focus on safety
Our clients’ safety is important to us, and at Lords Chimney, we want to do everything we can to help you minimize the possibility of fire hazards in or around your chimney system, from regular chimney maintenance to necessary repairs. That also includes helping you develop short-term and long-term fire safety plans that add up to a cleaner and better-performing system.
Maintenance Sets The Stage
This list of smart practices will help you continue using your heating appliance as safely as possible.
Every Time You Use Your Fireplace
Use the right fuel
Wet or green wood results in an increase in creosote in your flue, and more creosote means a bigger chance of creosote ignition. Use kiln-dried or seasoned firewood (or make sure you dry your own wood for at least a year before using it) — that helps you achieve the optimum small, hot fire, creating the lowest levels of creosote. Stay away from burning trash, Christmas trees, cardboard boxes or anything else that isn’t seasoned firewood, too — and never ever try to speed up lighting your fire by using any kind of flammable liquid.
Don’t leave your fire unattended
If you’re burning wood, it takes a while for the fire to thoroughly extinguish. Don’t leave a smoldering fire alone — if sparks or embers get out of the firebox or another problem arises, you need to be there to handle it.
Use a spark screen
Fireplace screens are affordable and useful — placed in front of the fire, they can create a barrier between flames/embers and your living area and the people and pets in it.
Keep things clean
Make sure you clean wood ash regularly, in the right way: Deposit ash in a metal bucket, and allow it to cool completely before disposing of it a safe distance away from your home. Whatever fuel you’re burning, keep the area around your fireplace or stove clean — keep a good distance between the appliance and anything flammable, from furniture and window coverings to decorative items.
Things You Should Schedule Annually
Creosote will build up as you use your wood fireplace or stove, and it needs to be regularly removed from your flue for both safety and performance reasons. A cleaner flue is a safer and a more efficiently venting flue, and Lords Chimney can help.
If something goes wrong in your chimney system, you want to know about it — damaged parts and components can lead to leaks and water damage, dangerous carbon monoxide leaks and fire hazards. So keeping up with your recommended annual chimney inspection is important.
If a cracked flue liner, third stage creosote or any other issue is limiting your chimney’s safety and efficiency, Lords Chimney can find the problem and suggest and complete the work necessary to fix it.
Don’t Forget About Your Dryer Vents!
We talk a lot about fire safety associated with fireplaces, stoves and chimneys, but your dryer vent needs your attention too. Lint-clogged dryer vents can become a serious fire hazard — according to estimates from the National Fire Protection Association, dryers or washing machines were involved in nearly 17,000 home fires in 2010, and the most prominent cause of those fires was a failure to clean.
As you use your dryer, lint slowly builds up along the ducts, and over time, that build-up can begin to constrict the vent. That blockage allows heat to build up, and since lint is extremely flammable, that heat can cause it to ignite.
Keeping your dryer vents clean limits that possibility — and Lords Chimney can help with dryer vent cleaning services.
If you have any questions about safer fireplace, stove and chimney practices – or dryer vents – Lords Chimney is always here to help. Just give us a call!
A chimney odor is far more than an inconvenience; these smells often indicate a far bigger chimney problem. While it may be tempting to spray some air freshener and hope the problem goes away, chimney odors should be addressed by a chimney professional as soon as possible. By having chimney odors diagnosed and repaired your family can begin enjoying using your fireplace again.
Whether it’s barely noticeable or overwhelming strong, chimney odors can affect your ability to live in your home. Unfortunately, there is no one single cause of chimney odors; chimneys odors are often the symptom of a bigger chimney problem. Because of this, a professional chimney inspection is often needed in order to uncover the cause of the smell. The following are three common causes of chimney odors.
Many animals enter the chimney only to become trapped; removing them as soon as possible can reduce damage to the chimney, minimize the chance of chimney odors developing, and give the animal the best chance for survival. Homeowners should never attempt to smoke out trapped animals by starting a fire; not only does opening the damper give the animal access to your home, but the smoke and heat will kill most animals before they have the chance to escape.
Chimney odors can affect your ability to enjoy your fireplace. By having the smells diagnosed and the cause repaired, you can get back to enjoying your fireplace faster. For more information on diagnosing chimney odors or to schedule a chimney inspection, contact Lords Chimney today.
In the hustle and bustle of our day to day lives, it can be easy to let minor home maintenance go by the wayside. No matter how frequently or infrequently your use your fireplace, however, it is important to have it swept and inspected at least once per year. Because of this, many customers find it easiest to forward schedule their future chimney sweeping appointments.
Forward scheduling is as easy as setting your next appointment at the time of your current appointment. While most of us are used to doing this for annual physicals or dental checkups, it can also be done for your chimney services! Forward scheduling your chimney sweeping allows you to pick the date and time for you next services and “set it and forget it!”
Although it may seem odd to schedule chimney maintenance six months – or more – in advance, there are a number of advantages to forward scheduling your sweeping appointment.
Regular yearly chimney sweepings and inspections are the best way to keep your fireplace and chimney burning safely and efficiently. Chimney sweepings remove soot, ash, debris, blockages, and the harmful and flammable byproduct of combustion creosote from the flue. Sweepings also help you get the most out of your fireplace by extending its lifespan. Likewise, chimney inspections can be used to help evaluate efficiency, look for signs of damage or deterioration, and uncover the cause of long-term chimney problems such as draft issues or leaks.
“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Chimney Safety Institute of America Director of Education Ashley Eldridge. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”
With family, friends, jobs, kids, school, and more, it can be easy to forget to schedule your annual chimney sweeping. By forward scheduling your future appointments you can rest assured your chimney will be professionally maintained year after year. For more information on forward scheduling or to schedule your next chimney sweeping, contact Lords Chimney today.
Whether it suddenly appears or starts small and builds, a stinky chimney can make your home unlivable. While air fresheners may mask the odor, they cannot completely eliminate it; chimney odors are often the symptom of a more serious chimney problem. A chimney inspection is often needed to help identify the cause of a stinky chimney.
There is no one cause of chimney odors; different kinds of smells have different causes, and identifying the kind of odor your chimney has can help pinpoint exactly what is causing it. While a chimney inspection is the best tool to find the source of your home’s chimney odor, the following are four of the most common causes of stinky chimneys.
While live animals can cause odors from their food, feces, or nesting materials, a dead animal in the chimney can cause an overwhelming odor in the home – as well as effect the air quality. To avoid exposure to bacteria or microorganisms carried by wild animals, it is important to have them removed as soon as their presence is detected.
Chimney odors do not go away on their own and are often the symptom of a bigger chimney problem. If you have a stinky chimney, contact Lords Chimney today to uncover – and repair – the cause of your chimney odor.