Help!! Brick chimney creosote stains bleeding thru!

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Old 01-30-08, 07:10 PM
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Help!! Brick chimney creosote stains bleeding thru!

These are photos showing a Brick chimney with creosote stains bleeding thru:
http://good-times.webshots.com/album/562325364XfXoWy

The house is a 1850 farmhouse located in Mt. Washington. Mass. in the Berkshires.
There were 3 woodstoves which were fed into this chimney to heat the house before the oil fired hot water boiler was installed around 1950.


When I noticed this staining happening in basement in 8/2005 I had chimney cleaned and new aluminum cap installed, the last cap had deteriorated & I thought this was the cause.
Since then it is getting worse!
Why??
How can I fix the problem & clean off these stains??
Thanks in advance,
Scott
 
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Old 01-30-08, 08:57 PM
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I'm not a chimney expert, but I know that the best way to get rid of creosote residue is solvent. Once you got rid of the deposits, a little muriatic acid will clean up the bricks, don't use too much or they will look brand new and not like a 1850 vintage brick chimney.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 07:19 AM
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Thanks-
What kind of solvent?
Does anyone know how to stop it from repeating?
 
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Old 01-31-08, 07:32 AM
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You need to improve how you are burning your wood. Don't burn softwoods, make sure you get the fire hot quickly and try for smaller hotter fires.

Woodburning Tips

If it's just a boiler now, it should probably have a chimney liner and needs to be cleaned and serviced annually included a full combustion test as part of the tuning.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 07:44 AM
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This chimney is only used by the oil fired boiler.
Do I just need to clean it again real well?
This staining occured after it was cleaned 8/2005.


 
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Old 01-31-08, 07:58 AM
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I would scrape off as much of the creosote as you can, then get a powerful citrus based solvent. It sounds like your liner is cracked if you even have one and it will probably keep happening but should taper off over time now that you have an oilburner. You can get the chimney relined with stainless steel or mason cement, but that might not help your staining issue, it's coming from the brick joints, not the inside of the chimney if it's already been cleaned.
 
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Old 01-31-08, 11:02 AM
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Does the chimney have a terra cotta liner?

When was the last time the liner was professionally
inspected for damage over the entire length of the
flue?

It looks like you might have a cracked, or no liner, if
creosote is oozing through the mortar lines. If that
is the problem, a chimney fire could spread to the
surrounding structure, not good!
 
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Old 01-31-08, 04:34 PM
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You're seeing the oozing only at the base, as shown in the pic ? What are the stains coming out the cleanout door ?

When the chimney was cleaned, did you watch ?

Do you know if when the cleaned it, they just brushed it all down and left the debris in the base of the chimney ?

I am willing to bet that the chimney base if FULL of debris, right up to the cleanout door. If they didn't clean out the base as well, then all that creosote that they knocked off the walls of the chimney is now sitting in a big lump at the bottom.

It's very possible that there is condensation running down the chimney, pooling at the base, dissolving the creosote, and thus the oozing ...

Would you happen to know what the flue gas temperature is ?

Have you looked in that cleanout door ?

I'm gonna go with the liner suggestion also ...
 
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Old 01-31-08, 05:32 PM
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The pix s are pretty bad, but it looks like creosote
is coming out of the seams on the chimney mortar
on the first photo. Since the place was built in
the 1800s, I'd question the integrity of the
flue liner, IF it even has one! One chimney
fire you get away with, it cracks the liner.
Second chimney fire you lose the house.
How many chimney fires since the 1800s?
How long was wood heat used?
The only safe method is a full camera inspection
of the flue liner top to bottom, or just replacing
it with a stainless steel flue system.

Pete
 
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Old 02-01-08, 04:05 AM
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One response to fix this problem-------Chimney Liner. You can get it cleaned multiple times but it will not go away. Install a chimney liner and it should not come back.
 
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