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The Dangers of Creosote to the Home

Many homeowners are unfamiliar with the dangers of creosote, even if they are very familiar with the substance’s odor. Creosote is a combination of chemicals that is left behind in a chimney or fireplace after certain types of wood have been burned. If it is allowed to build up in the fireplace and chimney, it can cause serious damage and risks to the home.

Creosote - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MI

Image courtesy of Dennis Lamb of Mad Hatter Chimney in Indianapolis IN.

One of the most common issues that homeowners run into when it comes to creosote is the fact that it is highly flammable. Burning a simple fire in the fireplace may quickly get out of control if there is a significant accumulation of creosote. In the worst cases, this may lead to a house fire that destroys the entire structure of the home.

In addition to the danger listed above, there are also health issues about which a homeowner should be concerned. For instance, excessive exposure to creosote can cause digestive and respiratory problems. While this is an obvious concern for adults, parents having children with allergies or respiratory problems will want to be particularly aware because of increased danger to a young child’s developing organs.

Also, let’s not forget about the family pets. While our pets do not have the same exact digestive and respiratory systems as humans, they are close enough to be affected by these very same dangers. Keep in mind, too, that animals such as dogs and cats have a heightened sense of smell when compared to humans. If you see your pets acting funny around the fireplace, it could be a sign to have things checked out.

Creosote can cause serious damage to a home and it is not always easy to tell that it is there. Sometimes it is accompanied by an unpleasant smell but that is not always the case. To avoid significant damage, it is necessary to have regular fireplace inspections completed by a professional.