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Oil Chimney Flues Also Need Cleaning and Maintenance

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A common misunderstanding about oil-fired appliances is that the oil burner company cleans and inspects the entire chimney system during its annual maintenance service. However, very rarely does an oil service technician do anything at all to the oil flue. Nor will the oil company examine the exterior masonry work on a chimney, so important repair issues can go unnoticed. Recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Fire Protection Association, and other national fireplace and chimney organizations, your chimney should undergo a Level 1 inspection annually by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep, like our technicians at Magic Sweep. This includes oil-fired appliance chimneys as well. Neglecting the essential chimney maintenance tasks can lead to expensive repairs to your chimney. Magic Sweep would like to tell you more about the specifics concerning the cleaning and maintenance of oil chimney flues.

Soot on Your Chimney - Chesapeake VA - Magic Sweep

The Problem with Soot

As the chimney walls of wood-burning fireplaces can be covered with large deposits of creosote build-up, the walls of your oil flue can become lined with soot residue. Your oil-fired appliance generally endures long running times during the cold winter months. Soot is produced from these long run cycles, and this oil soot first sticks to the chimney’s walls. Sooner or later, this soot can fall to the base of a masonry chimney or even inside the oil-fired appliance.

The Danger of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

If the build-up of soot becomes large enough, it can block your chimney’s flue and restrict the outward flow of gases like carbon dioxide, water vapor, and nitrogen. Another gas formed as a by-product of combustion is the dangerously toxic carbon monoxide. Odorless and tasteless, you may not even know when carbon monoxide has been leaking into your home until you and/or your family begin suffering symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. All oil-fueled appliances need to be properly vented so that carbon monoxide and other gases can exit out the chimney. The base of the chimney should also be completely swept. An annual chimney sweeping and inspection from Magic Sweep can prevent the possibility of carbon monoxide entering your home via your chimney appliance.

The Role of Sulphur in Damaging Chimney Liners

Oil soot is made up of a combination of carbon and sulphur. Rainwater and other moisture mixes together with sulphur, which gets absorbed into the flue tiles and masonry work and starts the deterioration process of spalling. Your annual chimney sweeping will clean the walls from soot deposits to protect your chimney from damage. Metal chimneys are not immune to the destructive side of sulphur. A sulphuric acid reaction will begin to corrode the stainless steel liner by forming pinholes, which renders the liner unable to contain the by-products of combustion. Spalling and cracking in a clay liner compromises its purpose as well. A damaged flue liner creates potential health hazards, such as carbon monoxide leaks, to you and your family. A chimney inspection will find a damaged liner, which will allow you to have it repaired or replaced.

If you have any further questions about the cleaning and maintenance of oil flues, contact Magic Sweep today to ask our expert staff. You can also schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection to protect your oil flue from any damage or deterioration caused by soot deposits.