The Results of Not Having Your Chimney Properly Cleaned
Chimney flues can accumulate creosote, soot and debris over time. If you use a wood-burning fireplace, your chimney should be cleaned by a professional chimney sweep once a year or on a schedule your chimney company suggests. Neglecting to have this service performed can lead to serious problems. National Chimney Cleaners of Morris County, NJ, and Fairfield County, CT, would like to share some important information on chimneys and why they need regular sweeping.
What happens during a chimney sweep?
Experienced chimney sweeps are in business to keep your chimney clean. They use a variety of tools and equipment, such as rotating brushes, scrubbers, chimney sweep rods, cleaning solvents and industrial vacuums, to remove built-up creosote and debris.
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), there is no substitute for professional chimney cleaning.
Creosote & chimney fires
One of the most important reasons for keeping your chimney clean is to reduce the chance of a chimney fire. The majority of these fires are started by ignited creosote and can be small and brief or big and destructive. Creosote clings to the walls of chimney liners and builds up with every use of a wood-burning fireplace.
Signs that you’re having a chimney fire include:
- Clicking or tapping noises coming from the fireplace
- The sound of rumbling, like from a distant train
- Excess dense smoke coming from either end of your chimney
- Chunks of sooty material falling into your firebox
If you suspect you’re experiencing a chimney fire, call 911 immediately and extinguish the fire in the firebox, if it’s safe to do so. In addition to being highly flammable, creosote is also highly acidic. The longer it stays in contact with interior areas of your chimney, the greater the chance it will damage surfaces.
Chimney inspections can save lives & money
Part of a good maintenance plan for a chimney is an annual safety inspection. A chimney inspector will be able to spot early signs of problems that you may overlook. He or she can also advise you on how often your chimney should be cleaned. The recommended schedule for chimney cleaning will be based, in part, on how frequently you use your fireplace. But chimney inspections should happen every year to keep your home and family safe, regardless of how many fires you burn.
If you operate your chimney without a secure chimney cap or at least a flue cover, your flue is an open invitation to outside debris. Common debris found in chimneys includes leaves and twigs from nearby trees and the nesting materials of small animals like birds, squirrels and rodents. Chimney flues are sized to effectively vent the type of fireplace they’re connected to. When a flue is narrowed by obstructions, smoke can no longer draft efficiently, and backups should be expected. Smoke backing up into your home is never good, but even worse is the carbon monoxide carried by smoke. Carbon monoxide is an invisible and odorless gas that is known to be potentially fatal to humans and animals.
Call your chimney experts
National Chimney Cleaners is here to help with all your chimney needs, from chimney sweeping and chimney inspections to chimney repairs and rebuilding work.
Call us to get the job done right the first time.
Reach a chimney expert in Morris County, NJ, or Fairfield County, CT, at 800-631-6177. You can also get in touch with our handy contact form.