Fireplaces can seem like a godsend on those frigid nights, but using them has an unintended side effect: creosote accumulation, which is not only aesthetically unappealing, it’s also a health hazard and needs to go. You can hire a chimney sweeping service to get it cleaned. But if you want to DIY it, here is how to get rid of it.
Removing Creosote from a Chimney Flue
Depending on how severe the accumulation situation is, you can either break down the creosote into ash using reagents designed for such purpose, and wipe away with a chimney brush, or you may have to use a spinning wire whip for stubborn accumulations.
Creosote Removal from a Wood Furnace
If the furnace is not cleaned on a frequent basis, it may develop what is known as glazed creosote build up. When that happens, removing the accumulated creosote becomes hard but not impossible. You are looking for a creosote remover containing the chemical ingredient trisodium phosphate, and it will take multiple applications of this to totally get rid of the accumulation.
Getting Rid of Creosote Accumulated on Bricks
Here is a step by step guide on how to remove creosote from bricks.
Step 1: Make sure you are well prepared for the cleaning job
You don’t want the soot to spread elsewhere so make sure to cover the area properly using tarps and plastic sheets before chimney and fireplace cleaning.
Step 2: Mix ingredients in the right proportions to create the cleaning solution
The cleaning solution is made of equal parts detergent and salt, along with half a cup of ammonia. The final consistency will be that of a toothpaste.
Step 3: Thoroughly apply the solution to the affected region you want to clean
The creosote has most likely saturated into the surface of the bricks and so you want the paste to do its job by leaving it there for a good 30 to 40 minutes.
Step 4: Scrub the bricks vigorously to remove creosote
After sufficient time has passed, you can wipe and start removing the paste from the bricks using a steel wool or brush.
Step 5: Wash the bricks for a clean, creosote-free look
Once the paste along with the creosote has been extracted from the bricks, you can wash it off with cold water and be left with sparkling clean bricks.
Cleaning Creosote That Has Seeped into Clothes
Creosote that gets inside cloth fabric can be really hard to remove, but not impossible. Just follow the steps below in order.
Step 1: The soiled area needs to be treated similar to tar or grease spots
This means dousing the affection region in an oil-based substance so that it combines with the creosote and can be lifted off of the threads.
Step 2: Create a warm water and detergent solution
Once you have thoroughly covered the affected spot in oil, you need to lather it out with a solution of equal parts warm water and detergent.
Step 3: Vigorously scrub and rinse the affected area
Do this over and over until the area is clean of any creosote residue as well as the oil used to extract it.
Step 4: Wash the fabric in a washer with warm water
Once the clothing is completely rid of any creosote particles, it is now safe to run it in the washer and then tumble dry to remove any odor along with the spot.
The above steps may have given you a fair idea that creosote removal is a messy task and if you are not up to it, worry not because there are professionals out there who do this every day and will accomplish the job in a better manner than you ever can, all of that with zero hassle on your part. In fact, that is the smartest choice when it comes to chimney cleaning services.
The investment is well worth it, not just for aesthetic reasons, but to ensure the health and safety of your family as well. For best results, remember to get your chimney cleaned at least once a year. But before you jump the gun, make sure that you do proper research and choose a reliable company to carry out chimney cleaning services at your home. You want to look at certifications, training and industry experience when hiring a chimney cleaning service Columbia MD.