That blackish, sometimes flaky, sometimes gooey thing sticking on your chimney wall is creosote. Don't let it build up. Here'a what you should know.

That blackish, sometimes flaky, sometimes gooey thing sticking on your chimney wall is creosote. Don’t let it build up. Here’s what you should know.

There is one thing important to all homeowners…the safety and well-being of our families. We do our very best to avoid at all costs things that may threaten it. Among the most dreaded and unwelcome house guests is creosote.

What is creosote? Well it’s safe to say that majority of us don’t. That is why, to answer a few of your questions, our team here at Owens Chimney Systems, Inc. have gathered a few important facts from the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry and other sources about creosote and how it may affect our health and safety.

What is creosote?

We have all definitely heard of it, but do we really know what creosote is? Well, according to ATSDR, creosote is a collective term for the byproduct of several chemical mixtures. The end-product of the burning of wood is oftentimes referred to as wood creosote. So when you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home, you shouldn’t be surprised when the professional chimney sweep tells you that there’s wood creosote collected in your chimney. Consequently, there is also something called coal tar creosote. These are the natural by-products produced after the burning of coal. So you see, there are different types of creosote. But generally speaking, the chemical residue produced by burning is collectively called creosote.

Where can we usually find it?

Based on the above description, we would be able to locate creosote on areas wherein burning or combustion is frequent. So these include our fireplaces, blast furnaces and if often found inside chimney flues.

What are its dangers?

When creosote accumulates in our chimneys, they become a source of great threat to our safety. Once the creosote deposits thicken, your chimney instantly becomes a fire hazard. A thick layer of creosote is highly combustible and creosote buildup is one of the leading causes of house fires.

What can we do?

The one advice all the experts would give you is this: To avoid creosote build-up that would reach dangerous proportions, make sure to have your chimney checked and regularly swept. Call us at Owen’s Chimney Systems, Inc. and we’ll make sure to give you quality services that are worth every penny you spend.

Now that you know what creosote is and what you can do to get rid of it, you are now better equipped at keeping you and your household safe from harm.