Creosote (?) From Chimney

I own an old house (approx. 100 years old). Each winter, I have a problem with what looks like creosote running down the outside of the chimney and staining the walls and ceiling. The house is unoccupied through the winter and the thermostat is kept around 60.
The house is now heated by natural gas, steam, but previously with coal (I think). The chimney runs through the center of the house and I can see the creosote (?) running down the outside of the chimney in the attic.
Any suggestions for a fix or workaround? I am currently considering abandoning the chimney altogether and using a power vent through the side of the house.
Thanks.
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On Wed, 23 May 2007 11:55:41 -0700, "schwarja wrote:

Clean it off. Check your combustion. AFAIK there is no creosote in natural gas. Its mostly in soft woods.
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On May 23, 2:55 pm, " snipped-for-privacy@sunysuffolk.edu"

Sure sounds like there's no tile liner in the chimney- allowing moisture condensing inside to pass through the chimney, carrying whatever debris is in there. (Sure ain't creosote.) Also, maybe the chimney is regularly cool enough to condense lots of moisture.
That's (2) good reasons to switch to direct-vent if it's an option. And ... verify that the chimney is in good condition before using it for any other purpose, or more likely, removing it.
HTH, J
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snipped-for-privacy@sunysuffolk.edu says...

When my hundred-year-old house was converted from a wood kitchen stove and coal heating stove in the living room to gas, they re-used the brick chimney with no liner, and they didn't bother cleaning the chimney first, either. The chimney was so full of coal tar, creosote, and ash, that a brick dropped down the shaft wouldn't reach the bottom.
The chimney had to go anyway, it had severe earthquake damage. But pulling it apart, the goo had penetrated the bricks and mortar far enough that no amount of chimney sweeping would have eliminated it.
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snipped-for-privacy@phred.org is Joshua Putnam
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