How does it feel sitting in front of your fireplace or your wood stove? Do not you actually enjoy the warmth to the greatest extent in the cold winter nights? Well, this level of comfort is felt by many over the centuries. However, in between your enjoyment and comfort, the one thing that you are likely to forget is the existing situation of your chimney. If you fail to pay a little bit of attention to the chimney before using your mantel during the winter days, your enjoyment may be short-lived. You may wonder why? If the chimneys are left dirty, they can result in chimney fires, leading to damaging structures, ruining homes and injuring or killing people.
Consequences Of Dirty Chimneys:
Dirty chimneys cause chimney fires that can flame explosively. This can terrorize the neighbors and passersby. Fires and dense smoke get out from atop the chimney. This kind of chimney fire can produce rumbling sound, reminding them of a train or an airplane being on fire. Slow-burning chimneys cannot be dramatic. But the heat which forms inside the chimney can be destructive and can damage the structure of the chimney as well as the nearby flammable parts of the house. However, if you get little careful and attentive, chimney fires can be prevented.
Fireplace or wood stove provides warmth for a home only by burning woods. The chimneys that help wood stoves or fireplace expel the combustible by-products. When the by-products get out of the fireplace or wood stove, they enter the cooler section of the chimney, and the condensation takes place. The substance that accumulates on the walls of the chimney is known as creosote. This substance can be brown or black in appearance. It is tar-like, flaky and sticky and drippy. Any of the forms build up in the chimney.
Whatever the shapes creosote takes, it is extremely combustible. If there is a huge build up of creosote and if it catches fire, it can lead to a chimney fire. Whatever the amount of creosote buildup inside the chimney, taking the help of sweeps can be helpful in preventing the fires.
Causes Of Creosote Buildup:
There are several conditions that encourage creosote to build up inside the chimneys. These factors include unseasoned wood, restricted air supply, and cooler temperature.
The glass doors can block the air supply if they are not properly open. On the other hand, if the damper is not properly open, the smoke cannot reach the chimney rapidly. All of these increase the chances of creosote to form inside the chimney.
Unseasoned Burning Wood-
Using unseasoned wood also leads to creosote formation inside the chimney wall. This is because too much energy is used to absorb the water entrapped in the logs.
Cool Tube Temperatures-
Fully-packed loads of wood need to be used for the wood stoves. This adds to creosote buildup.
When chimney fires take place in masonry chimney, if the tubes are older one, tile lined or unlined typed to meet the fire safety codes, the high temperatures can melt mortar, make liners to get damaged, crack tiles and destroy the exterior mortar materials.
Metal chimney or factory made chimneys also get damaged due to the high temperatures of wood burning. So, once they get damaged, they need to be replaced.
Ways to Avoid Chimney Fires:
Avoid using unseasoned woods; keep your house properly ventilated to allow smoke to expel. Along with this, you should opt for chimney sweeps once a year to keep it clean and creosote free.
So, try to keep your chimney clean and keep enjoying the warmth of your fireplace throughout the cold winter days without concerning about the chimney fires.
Adrice White is an experienced chimney sweep working in England. He takes an interest in writing articles on chimney sweeping. He has been in this field for the last 10 years. You can avail more information about chimney sweep Orpington from his recent articles and blog posts. You can visit his Google+.