Why Should I get my Chimney Cleaned?
- To remove soot
- To remove blockages
- To remove built-up creosote
- To clean you firebox and damper
- To increase efficiency
- To create a safer home
Do I Have to Have My Chimney Serviced?
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2014, 22,500 fires were attributed to fireplace chimneys. As a result of these fires, 20 people died, 70 people were injured, and total property loss was set at more than $146.4 million.
The root cause of most of these losses is that most U.S. homeowners are unaware that chimneys require regular inspection and maintenance. Most homeowners are unaware of their chimney condition or maintenance. The fact that problems are rarely visible to the casual observer complicates the situation. The threat of chimney fires and unsafe indoor air quality can be greatly reduced, perhaps even eliminated, if homeowners only understood that chimneys require regular maintenance.
How Often Should My Chimney Be Cleaned?
The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” This is the national safety standard and is the correct way to approach the problem. It takes into account the possibility that even if you don’t use your fireplace much, bird or animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.
We recommend that you have your chimney cleaned annually or about every cord of wood burned. If you notice an odor or if your fireplace is not drafting properly, please call us to inspect it before continuing to use it.
What is The Chimney Sweeps’ Primary Job?
The primary job of a chimney service professional is to inspect your chimney, clean and maintain your chimney, and to recommend changes to improve its performance and safety.
What Causes the build up of Creosote or “Soot”?
It is basically unburned fuel that gathers in the form of black powder, flakes, or a baked-on glaze, depending on the various degrees of buildup. It is caused by burning materials such as wood or firelogs in your fireplace. There is no way to prevent the buildup of creosote in your chimney. Creosote is one of the main causes of chimney fires. When there is an excess buildup of creosote in the chimney and temperatures rise, the soot is ignited and an actual fire is started inside your chimney which can lead to further damage as sparks shoot out the top of the chimney.
Conditions that encourage the buildup of creosote:
- Restricted air supply
- Burning unseasoned wood
- Cooler than normal chimney temperatures
What’s safe to burn in the fireplace?
Only well-seasoned wood is safe to burn. Do not burn holiday wrapping paper, a pizza box, foam packaging or other material not intended to be burned in a residential fireplace.