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What is this cream cotton wool looking stuff inside my chimney flue?!

(30 Posts)
Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 09:38:02

Anyone know? Just moved and never had a chimney before...

JinkxMonsoon Wed 07-Sep-16 09:39:34

Cavity wall insulation, I reckon.

iPost Wed 07-Sep-16 09:41:38

An aged, homemade chimney sheep ?

www.chimneysheep.co.uk

PigletJohn Wed 07-Sep-16 09:42:17

photo please

Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 10:11:15

I can't get a photo as it doesn't show up... I can only see with a torch. It looks like cream, hard dust in webs. Scattered in patches. Getting it cleaned at the weekend but worried it's something serious?!

Pangurban1 Wed 07-Sep-16 11:29:57

Are you worried it may contain asbestos? You can get someone to take a sample and rule that out before you touch it if you want. We had it done on a shed a decade ago and it was around 100 quid then.

Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 19:46:50

Photo...

Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 19:47:07

Anyone any more ideas?!

SealSong Wed 07-Sep-16 19:48:27

Looks like old soot build up. Don't use the chimney without having it professionally swept first.

Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 20:00:28

It's white/yellow though not black?

iPost Wed 07-Sep-16 20:21:49

mineral salts flowering through the build up.

Or just soot, with the crusty grey dusty ashy stuff it sometimes has on top.

Might have got blown up from the last fire and settled on what was already there.

Doesn't look that odd to me. Mind you, my chimneys had all sorts up of undesirable things up there when we opened them, so I have low standards.

<shudders at the memories>

Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 20:46:53

If it's mineral salts will a chimney sweep remove it?

Or is there a bigger problem?

Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 20:47:01

Ps thank you!!

IAmAPaleontologist Wed 07-Sep-16 20:48:47

Depending on the fuel used could be a sulphur build up. Don't worry, a good sweep will give it a clean and will advise you on fuel and maintenance.

Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 21:17:40

It's not been used for a long time which is why I'm a bit worried... So there's not been any fuel in it as far as I'm aware

Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 21:17:57

Been panicking about this a LOT tonight!

Gatekeeper Wed 07-Sep-16 21:21:43

Is it a shared stack ?

Palomb Wed 07-Sep-16 21:22:13

Is it not just cobwebby soot?

iPost Wed 07-Sep-16 22:17:00

Mineral salts can be brushed off. What caused the damp that helped create them may, or may not require some adjustments. Could be something as simple as fitting a capped chimney pot.

Or the white stuff might just be some ash that got blown up from the grate and got stuck to the soot.

Get a good chimney man, one with a reputation to stake on checking out your chimney properly.

And try not to worry. Chimneys are scary and wierd things (and so are their contents) when you aren't used to them. Googling tend to turn up the most expensive disasters in waiting possible, had me convinced the house was about to fall down. Not last cos I've got two old ones that looked like the bowels of hell. However the chimney man sorted them both out without any economic scariness. He takes care of them and 12 years later they are still working fine with no nasty surpises.

Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 23:23:00

Thank you so much! Do you think it's mineral salts/efflorescence from the photo then? In which case I can brush off or get a chimney sweep in?

Itsnotmycoat Wed 07-Sep-16 23:24:24

Palomb - I thought maybe cobwebs but they're too fluffy looking!

jesterkat Wed 07-Sep-16 23:28:43

Cobwebs covered in loads of dusty shite that's been dragged up the air flow on an unused chimney. Think its pretty normal x sweep will confirm

iPost Thu 08-Sep-16 07:21:46

If they are "fluffy" then that fits with mineral salts.

Personally I wouldn't do anything to my chimney, by myself, ever again.

<memories of fire brigade on my roof and in my kitchen>

Get a recommended chimney man in, have a professional sweep done, an inspection while he's there and then you'll have peace of mind.

PigletJohn Thu 08-Sep-16 16:23:30

light efflorescence is fluffy and brushes off as dust

heavy efflorescence comes off as crystals.

Itsnotmycoat Fri 09-Sep-16 09:31:24

Why is it there? Is there a problem with the chimney do you think?

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