Keep your family and home safe by knowing the dangers of built-up creosote in your chimney. Whether you have a wood burning fireplace, stove, or insert, creosote buildup insulates the chimney from the heat of the exhaust gases which impacts chimney performance. A warm chimney aids in the rising of exhaust products, while a cold chimney, caused by creosote buildup, will cause even more creosote to form.

An annual inspection will help you identify what type of remover and tools you'll need to rid your chimney of creosote. So, what exactly is creosote? Creosote is a chemical mass of carbon formed when wood, fossil fuels, or tar is burned. Creosote distills and lingers commonly in a fireplace or a masonry chimney. When not removed, creosote can build into a thick, hard coating of debris, rising up, the flue and chimney, posing a threat to your fireplace.

If not periodically removed, creosote can eventually cause a chimney fire. Creosote restricts the airflow of your chimney, preventing proper circulation and lowering efficiency. Creosote is a combustible material that is also toxic and not to be breathed in or let catch fire. Let's go over the 3 stages of creosote and what can be used to remove it from your chimney.

Stage 1: Soot - Primarily composed of unburned carbon particles, soot has a soft texture that is black or brown in color. Not all that different from wood ash, the flammability of soot will depend on the concentration of soot and ash. Soot, since it is made of carbon, is combustible, while ash is non-combustible. Northline Express' Top Rated Products to rid your chimney of Stage 1 creosote are Kwik-Shot Soot Stopper,
Soot Eraser - Dry Cleaner, and Stage One Creosote Remover - 2 pound tub.

Stage 2: Porous & Crunchy - The buildup will be hard brown or black and be in the form of either curly, flaky, or bubbly deposits in the venting system all of which are flammable. Creosote is the by-product of incomplete combustion, which begins as condensed wood smoke including tar, fogs, and vapors. Northline Express' Top Rated Products to rid your chimney of Stage 2 creosote are Rutland's Toss-In Creosote Remover, and Creosote Remover - 2 pound tub.

Stage 3: Glaze - A black, glassy, tar like substance, the glaze creosote can form puddles or drip down to make formations that resemble black icicles. Being the densest type of chimney deposit, glaze represents the greatest amount of fuel to burn in the event of a chimney fire. The most difficult type of deposit to remove, glaze requires a special piece of equipment with rotating chains to remove. Northline Express' Top Rated Products to rid your chimney of Stage 3 creosote are Rotary Creosote Removal Chains , Poly Rod Chimney Cleaning Wizard , and Tile Breaker.

Northline Express has a large selection of Chimney Creosote Removers for all 3 Stages. Be sure to contact us at 1-877-734-2458 or email us at for any questions regarding chimney care.