What is creosote really? Creosote is nothing more than unburned wood energy that condensates on the inner chimney surface. The more you use your fireplace soot and creosote begins to coat and solidify on the surface and if not removed the layer grows deep enough to provide another fuel source for the fire. If any sparks come into contact with this fuel source it could ignite and cause a house fire. There is no special type of wood that will prevent a build up from happening. It all depends on the moisture of the wood. You can tell how much creosote is present by the smoke that is emitted while the wood logs are burning. The darker the smoke coming from the chimney the more creosote it contains regardless of what type of wood you are burning. An article about How To Tell When It Needs Cleaning suggests only burning dry wood, build vigorous fires and use plenty of small logs to have rapid and completely burned logs. Also never burn scrap lumber or trash. There are signs to look for of creosote buildup. Regular chimney cleanings will help remove creosote and prevent any buildups from happening. Other signs of a buildup include, smoke flooding into your home, soot covering your furniture, or dark smoke constantly flowing from your chimney. If you notice any of these signs it’s time to have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a licensed professional. If you are not sure how much buildup occurs based on the use of your fireplace it is best to check your chimney regularly so that you can catch any problems early on. We offer a thorough inspection of first and second story chimneys of all kinds, including oil, wood, and gas. After every inspection we recommend what will be needed to get your system burning cleanly and safely.