Have A Stage 3 Creosote Problem? Let Us Help

You may have read a little bit about creosote and the dangers it poses on our chimney cleaning page, but here’s a little refresher: Creosote is a byproduct of incomplete combustion that can build up and harden on the interior surface of the fireplace and chimney.

While it starts out light and can be easily removed early on, as it builds up, it gets harder and harder to remove. In fact, when it reaches stage 3 (what is known as glazed creosote), it can’t be removed using normal chimney cleaning methods and tools.

And because creosote can easily ignite and cause the fire in your fireplace to spread up into your chimney and out into your home, that’s a big problem…

How Do You Know If You Have Creosote In Your Chimney?

There are many tell-tale signs of a creosote problem, but most of the time, your nose is the first to pick up on a problem. You see, creosote has a smoky, paved road type smell that in the muggy summer months can be pretty strong.

You can also look up into your fireplace and chimney, checking for brown or black buildup that is either sticky, hard, or flaky. If it’s hard and shiny, you have stage 3 creosote, which needs to be removed ASAP.

How Do You Get Rid Of Creosote?

Glazed or stage 3 creosote has to be removed by something that causes a change in its chemical composition. Here at True Ventilation, we use a product known as TSR (Third Stage Creosote Remover).

This powerful product removes even the toughest creosote deposits by changing the chemical makeup of the creosote so that it becomes a brushable soot. Once this change has occurred, we can then brush away the creosote like we would any normal soot that we encounter during a chimney cleaning, leaving your chimney system safer and cleaner.

What Can You Do To Keep Creosote Out Of Your Chimney?

There are a few ways to prevent creosote buildup:

  • First, schedule chimney cleanings often. If you follow the NFPA’s guidelines and schedule an inspection every year, you’ll know when a chimney cleaning is needed, which means you’ll stay on top of the creosote before it becomes a stage 3 problem.
  • Avoid building large fires that take up the majority of your firebox. When you build large fires, you create more smoke than your chimney can quickly and effectively remove. As a result, that smoke cools and settles on the interior of the chimney, smoke chamber, and fireplace — that’s what creates creosote.
  • Warm the flue. If you take the time to warm up the flue before you light a fire in the fireplace, you’ll create an environment in the chimney that encourages faster removal of smoke. And the faster smoke gets out, the less likely you are to have a creosote problem. You can warm the flue by rolling up a newspaper, lighting the end of it, and holding it up in the chimney for a minute or so.
  • Burn seasoned wood. A lot of times, creosote is the result of burning unseasoned, green, or wet wood. Wood that hasn’t been covered and allowed to dry for a year or more will have more moisture in it than seasoned wood will. And more moisture means more smoke, which means more creosote.

Get Rid Of Creosote Fast With True Ventilation

If you need to have creosote removed from your chimney or fireplace, leave it to the knowledgeable and professional team here at True Ventilation. We’re members of the NFPA and we promise our customers the highest quality service possible.

Not only will we effectively remove any stage 3 creosote, but we’ll also advise you on how to maintain your chimney in a safe and efficient manner, so you have fewer issues with your system in the future. Our goal is to prevent problems from getting costly and dangerous so you can enjoy your fireplace and your home.

To request an inspection or a stage 3 creosote removal service, simply call 888-775-9498 or reach out to us here on our website. We’re licensed and insured and we look forward to helping with all your chimney and fireplace maintenance needs, whether you’re in Suffolk, Orange, Dutchess, Ulster, Columbia, or Greene county!


No matter how dirty your chimney is, you can count on our chimney cleaning expertise to clean up the problem. Ask us about our other chimney and venting services, too.