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Secrets From a Chimney Sweep: How to Know Whether Your Chimney Poses a Safety Risk

Did you know that an unclean chimney can pose a safety risk to your family? Data shows that dirty chimneys are responsible for approximately 25,000 fire accidents every year. An unclean chimney can also increase the risk of respiratory disorders in your household. And, some cases also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly. This is why regular chimney cleaning is absolutely necessary.

Let us discuss four definitive signs that indicate that your chimney might pose a safety risk.


If you notice a white-colored residue or stain on the bricks, it is a sign that your chimney is trapping moisture. The trapped moisture dissolves the salts in the brickwork. That results in the formation of a white-colored residue or stain, which is commonly referred to as efflorescence.

The presence of moisture means a thorough chimney cleaning is in order. Otherwise, it can lead to the growth of mold, which can affect your indoor air quality and cause health problems.

Damaged Crown

If the top of your chimney – commonly referred to as the crown – is visibly cracked or damaged, you need to schedule a chimney cleaning, as you need to find out whether the damage has led to the buildup of moisture and other problems in the chimney.


If you notice a buildup of creosote (a black or dark-brown colored residue which is formed as a result of wood combustion) along the inner walls of your chimney, you need to call a chimney cleaning service right away. The buildup of creosote is the single biggest factor that can lead to a chimney fire. It is a sign that your chimney needs your immediate attention.

Damaged Flue Liner

The flue liner plays a key role in keeping your chimney safe and functional. It protects your home from heat and directs smoke and other fumes out of your home. Since it is subjected to extreme heat regularly, it can crack over time. If and when it does, it can cause serious problems.

Firstly, a cracked or damaged flue liner can cause smoke and harmful fumes to enter your home. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Secondly, with a damaged flue liner, the combustible materials near the chimney are at risk of catching fire. That is because the flue can no longer protect the interior of your home from heat.

It should be noted that damage to the flue liner can be hard to detect for an untrained person. This is why you should schedule a chimney cleaning at least once a year so that such problems can be detected and fixed before they can pose a risk to the safety and wellbeing of your family.

Choose the Right Chimney Cleaning Service for the Safety of Your Home

United Home Services has a team of highly trained and skilled technicians who can install, inspect, repair, and replace different types of chimneys. All our technicians have National Chimney Sweep Guild (NSCG) certification and are capable of handling all your chimney problems.

If you have more questions about chimney cleaning or if you need to clean or repair your chimney, call us today at 844-415-1543 or contact us online and schedule a free inspection.

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