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What is level 3 creosote?

Troubleshooting Your Fireplace

There could be many reasons that your fireplace isn’t functioning correctly, and we want to help you solve the problem. Below is a list of potential issues and their respective solutions. Note that this list of problems/solutions is simplified, and a correct understanding of fireplaces requires an expert-level knowledge of airflow patterns.

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Answer: 

There are three levels of creosote:

Level 1: creosote is usually a light powder or soot and can easily be removed.

Level 2: creosote is often shiny and hard black flakes. This level of creosote is more difficult to remove.

Level 3: The most severe and challenging form of creosote is level 3. It is extremely thick and hardened. It is similar to tar. Level 3 creosote is extremely difficult to remove and poses a severe fire hazard.

Level 3 creosote is also called glazed creosote. It forms when creosote rapidly accumulates in the flue before the previous layers have dried. As it hardens, glazed creosote dries into a hard, dense substance that can damage the flue and chimney structure. Glazed creosote can be caused by burning unseasoned wood or by burning a fire at a low temperature for a long time.

What is most dangerous about glazed creosote is that it is highly flammable. A fire can easily cause the glazed creosote to ignite. This can lead to a fast burning chimney fire.

If you believe that there is glazed creosote in your flue, give Emberstone Chimney solutions a call!

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