Whether your restaurant uses a chimney for a wood-burning oven in the kitchen or a fireplace in the dining area, it's important to have your chimney inspected and maintained regularly. One of the byproducts of burning wood is creosote, which is a very sticky and combustible tar-like substance that will adhere to the walls of your chimney. A high level of creosote in your chimney is a major fire hazard for your restaurant. In order to protect your investment and your guests, it's important to contact a commercial chimney cleaning service and have creosote removed regularly. As a restaurant owner, here's what you need to know about cleaning your chimney.

Creosote Builds Up In Your Chimney Over Time

The purpose of a commercial chimney cleaning service is to remove unwanted byproducts of incomplete combustion from the walls of the chimney. One of the byproducts of combustion in your wood-burning oven or fireplace is creosote. This is a resinous substance that's created when the wood burns and is drawn up into your chimney along with the smoke. Some types of wood, such as pine, create more creosote than others. It's also more common if you burn wood at a low temperature or if your wood has not been properly stored and is slightly damp from humidity. The creosote sticks to the walls of your chimney and creates a layer of build-up over time. A commercial chimney cleaning service will remove this creosote for you along with any other unwanted byproducts of combustion.

Excess Creosote In Your Restaurant's Chimney Is A Dangerous Fire Hazard

The main issue with excess amounts of creosote in your chimney is the fact that creosote is highly combustible. If too much creosote accumulates on the walls of your chimney or if you burn the fire too hot in your oven or fireplace, the creosote can catch fire. A chimney fire can spread rapidly throughout your restaurant; failing to clean your restaurant's chimney regularly is a danger to your restaurant, your employees and your customers.

Creosote Can Also Cause Foul Tar-Like Odors In Your Restaurant

The second issue with creosote in your chimney is that it emits a foul odor. This is especially noticeable during humid summer days when you run the air conditioner; the humidity loosens the creosote and creosote-laden air can be circulated throughout your restaurants. If your guests or employees have ever complained about smelling a foul tar-like odor during the summer, it's likely due to the creosote in your chimney.

Your Chimney Needs To Be Inspected Annually To Determine Creosote Levels

Your chimney should be inspected once a year at the very least. A fireplace chimney that is not frequently used may not need to be cleaned annually; the inspectors will tell you whether or not your chimney will require cleaning. A chimney for a wood-burning oven should be inspected more often, as it is more likely to cause creosote deposits on the walls of the chimney due to the lower temperatures. For a fireplace chimney, it's best to inspect it before the colder season when you are likely to use it. If it hasn't been used in some time, animals may have built nests inside or on top of the chimney and will need to be removed before you use your fireplace.