Fireplace and Chimney adds a lot of character and architecture interest to your home. It creates cozy atmosphere, and bring warmth during cold season. The Chimney’s main function is to carry dangerous gas out of your home. Like your windows, and vents, it helps keep the air breathable in your home. But if its not maintained regularly and properly, dirty chimney can catch fires, which damages structures, transfer heat through leaked flue lines, onto wood structures of your home, eventually get the whole house on fire.
When burning wood, you create heat, smoke, water vapors, unburned wood particles..etc (by-products of combustion). when it rises through your flue liner to exit your home, it meets cold air at higher elevation, which creates condensation that sticks to your flue wall. These are called creosote.
If creosote build-up in your flue is of enough quantity, and temperature is high, it will catch fire. Some conditions that increases the likely hood of creosote build-ups.
- Burning wet wood leaves behind a lot of incombustible particles.
- Wet, damped, leaked chimney that allows cooler than normal temperature to meet with rising hot air
- Poor, irregular, and improper chimney maintenance
Here are some of the steps that can be taken to prevent creosote build-up, and ultimately chimney fire.
- Regular chimney cleaning/sweeping (ideally, once a year before you light up that fire). This step limits the quantity of creosote build-up in your flue liner, better pathway for the by products to escape your house.
- Use dry woods. This will allow woods to burn completely, therefore leaving no unburned particles behind.
- Structural maintenance. repair mortar joints, flashing, installing rain-cap, and applying sealant to your outside structure of a chimney will prevent leaks, damage done by weather. This will make your chimney last longer, and more importantly maintaining normal temperature inside the flue line.