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The pictures show a blackened masonry chimney with a glossy coating of creosote. There is a small step crack in the mortar.

The woodstove is a Vermont Castings airtight fireplace, which is the type that can operate with the doors open.

I suspect there has been a chimney fire, but the owner uses those chimney-cleaning presto logs to burn the soot out of the flue.

Could the soot and glaze be caused by those chimney cleaner logs?

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I heat with only a stove. Haven't run the furnace in at least eight years.

I think most of what you're seeing is incidental. Looks pretty normal, and pretty clean, to me. I make a habit of having a chimney fire every day, to prevent real one from occurring.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Need a level II inspection but it appears to be just 3rd degree glazed creosote with some wax build up from an improper installation and improper burning. Must have a listed liner. If you read the manual, I believe you will find that mfr. expressly forbids the use of manufactured wax logs. The log mfrs. usually expressly forbid burning more than one at a time, while often results in a cool flue which in turn leads to flue gas condensation= creosote formation and possible chimney fires.

That rain cap is rather restrictive but that crack has weakened that side of the chimney. It must be torn down to viable material and rebuilt then install an insulated listed liner with the listed rain termination and top support plate. The burn small hot fires using real cordwood less than 20% mc.

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