In this video, This Old House mason Mark McCullough helps a homeowner remove stubborn creosote from a brick fireplace.
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Fireplaces offer a lot of charm and utility, but they can be dangerous and an eyesore when they’re covered in creosote. Mason Mark McCullough helps a homeowner solve creosote issues with a simple process.
Creosote is a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion, and it’s common in fireplaces. If the fires aren’t hot enough or the wood is wet, creosote can build upon the sides of chimneys and fireplaces. A little bit is normal, particularly the sooty, flaky stuff. However, if it’s shiny and oily, it can be very dangerous and cause a chimney fire.
When a homeowner realized that her best efforts cleaning her own fireplace weren’t working, she called mason Mark McCullough for help.
Where to find it?
Mark recommends wearing eye protection [https://homedepot.sjv.io/eKBrvD], gloves [https://homedepot.sjv.io/3eO9PX], a respirator mask [https://homedepot.sjv.io/B0AzXx] and opening the windows whenever disturbing creosote.
Results may vary depending on the amount and age of creosote buildup.
To get started use a metal putty knife [https://homedepot.sjv.io/zNqeNe] to chip away as much of the stage 2 creosote as possible. Stage 2 creosote can be identified by its flaky texture.
Next use a handheld grinder with a wire wheel brush [https://homedepot.sjv.io/xkb29d] and rust stripper attachments to continue to remove Stage 2 as well as Stage 3. Mark advises to start with the wire wheel brush to take off the more stubborn wax-like build up, which is Stage 3.
To remove the remaining creosote, Mark recommends saturating the brick with water
using a scrub brush [https://homedepot.sjv.io/zNqeNe]. Apply brick and stone cleaner [https://homedepot.sjv.io/9gQMGj] of your choice. (Follow product instructions for application). Rinse the treat area with scrub brush and repeat until satisfied with the results.
All supplies are available at your local home store.
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Brick and stone cleaner [https://homedepot.sjv.io/9gQMGj]
Respirator mask [https://homedepot.sjv.io/B0AzXx]
Safety glasses [https://homedepot.sjv.io/eKBrvD]
Putty knife [https://homedepot.sjv.io/y2LeRv]
Grinder with a wire wheel [https://homedepot.sjv.io/xkb29d]
Drill with an abrasive blade [https://homedepot.sjv.io/jr2nWv]
Wet/dry vac with HEPA filter [https://homedepot.sjv.io/Gmq0jr]
Stiff-bristled brush [https://homedepot.sjv.io/zNqeNe]
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How to Clean Creosote from a Fireplace | Ask This Old House