Preventing Chimney Fires

by | Jan 3, 2015 | Chimney

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A chimney fire might seem like an unlikely event but it is actually more common than you might think. Even though the chimney is well built a fire in the chimney can happen very quickly, in many cases with no warning, the worse result of course would be for the whole house to burn down. With a little work, including annual chimney cleaning in Columbus, OH a chimney fire can be prevented.

What starts a chimney fire in the first place?

When wood is burning it results in smoke, this smoke goes up the chimney and it escapes into the surrounding atmosphere and dissipates. Smoke is gaseous but it does not stay that way for any length of time, as it cools it can condense on the inside lining of the chimney. As the smoke does condense the soot particles bond into a flakey or gummy material; this substance is called creosote and is the cause of chimney fires.

Creosote is very flammable and it does not take much for it to catch fire, it only takes one spark if the conditions are right. This is exacerbated when there is a high wind blowing outside, this causes an updraft, sparks will be drawn up the chimney and the creosote can ignite. Extinguishing burning creosote is not easy. Of course the to avoid burning creosote is to avoid creosote and this can be done best by having chimney cleaning in Columbus, OH done as often as necessary.

The main cause of creosote is unseasoned wood, especially soft woods such as pine. One of the best ways to avoid a fire in the chimney is to only use well seasoned hard woods. Unseasoned wood burns cooler; the result is that it is more likely to condense in the chimney causing a buildup of creosote. Although unseasoned wood is a little less expense, buying seasoned hardwoods will save you money and possible grief in the long run.

You want to create the hottest fire you can, a hot fire will reduce the buildup of creosote hence the change of a fire is less. Do not build a large fire which is slow to catch and slow to burn, build a smaller fire which burns hotter, this increases the chance of the smoke exiting the top of the chimney while it is still gaseous.

Controlling the buildup of creosote is the key to eliminating the possibility of a chimney fire; burn seasoned wood, have a hot fire and make sure to have chimney cleaning in Columbus, OH done regularly.

Chimney cleaning in Columbus, OH along with chimney repair and maintenance is the secret to avoiding an unfortunate chimney fire. You are invited to call Business Name for all your chimney needs.

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