How do I clean the outside of my chimney?
Scrub the chimney with soap and water. Mix about 6 drops of mild detergent into hot water in the bucket. Then, use the bristle scrub brush to scrub down the entire chimney again from top to bottom.
What does creosote buildup look like?
Creosote is the black or brown residue that forms as a result of wood-burning fires inside a fireplace. It can be crusty, flaky, drippy, sticky, shiny, or hard. Too much creosote buildup can cause chimney fires and these low burning fires can go undetected until they spread.
Why is my chimney turning black?
If your chimney has black stains, it is usually a result of excess creosote and soot buildup in the chimney flue. The chimney may begin smoking because creosote has created an obstruction and won't allow a proper draft. Eventually, the dirty flue becomes evident by the soot stains on the exterior.
The remedy, he said, is to spray with a bleach-based product labeled for removing mold and mildew, wait 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse. Sometimes he also has to scrub stubborn stains using a synthetic-fiber brush. To keep from bleaching more than the chimney, he covers nearby roofing with a heavy tarp first.
Mix equal parts vinegar and water and combine in a spray bottle. After using a dry brush or sponge to remove as much loose soot as possible, spray the bricks with the solution. Let it sit for a few minutes and spray once more.
When black stains are caused by lichen, moss, or algae, you can generally use the same methods as you would with dirt. Moreover, lichen and algae can produce issues for people with asthma or allergy problems. So, it's best to remove them from your brick wall as soon as possible.
The most common causes of damp in your chimney breast are:
Rain water or other external moisture getting in. Condensation forming from inside the chimney. Hygroscopic salts drawing moisture into the walls.
Brick stain covers the surface of the brick with a thin color. Brick stain soaks into the pores of the brick and allows it to breathe. Unlike painted brick, stained brick does not allow water to become trapped below the surface.
Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood in a wood stove or fireplace. One method to loosen crusty or tarry creosote so it flakes off and falls down into the firebox or fireplace is to burn aluminum cans in a very hot fire.