It takes only a small accumulation of creosote glazing to create the potential for a chimney fire. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up inside your chimney or liner as a result of burning wood. The rate of accumulation can be higher if you practice poor burning practices or have a burning appliance or stove that is not working well. Different types of wood create different amounts of creosote when burned. Pine causes a rapid build-up of creosote and should be avoided as a regular source of wood. Creosote can also reduce the draw of the fireplace and reduce efficiency.
To ensure that everything is working in order and operating as it should, we recommend that homeowners get their chimneys inspected annually. For the most part, homeowners opt to have their chimneys swept yearly as well, especially if they use their fireplaces regularly. Fireplace, stove, furnace and heating appliance systems are important to your home and family’s safety and not an area to neglect or cut corners on. Don’t risk the chance that an undiscovered defect could turn into an expensive repair or even worse – a chimney fire.
If you rarely use your fireplace or stove, we still advise looking at all heating venting systems, chimneys, stove systems, and furnace flues. There may be some defects or issues that could be found that require attention, even if cleaning isn’t needed.
-If you haven’t had your chimney inspected in a year or more
-If you are having any performance issues with your chimney, fireplace, or heating system
-If you have recently purchased/moved into the home
DON’T WAIT! Almost always, waiting results in additional repairs and sometimes even property loss.
Another important time to get your venting systems inspected is when you have upgraded or changed heating systems or added a stove or insert. An inspection will make sure that your chimney, lining and venting systems are adequate and in working order to handle the new changes.
If you have not used your fireplace in a long time, pests may have built nests that could clog your flue or chimney chamber. Winter freeze cycles and moisture combine to take an annual toll on masonry and liner materials too. Over several years the deterioration will eventually require attention. Normal wear and tear that is left unchecked will affect the performance of your system. The longer the defects go without being addressed, the more expensive repairs are likely to be. Bottom line is – staying on top of your systems is not only the smartest and safest choice, it ends up being the most cost-effective too.
This depends a lot on how much you use your fireplace or stove. The National Fire Protection Association 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.” So, even if you don’t use your chimney a whole lot – birds, squirrels, raccoons and other critters may have been using your chimney making it unsafe to use without clearing out the accumulated debris from nesting activity.
The CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) says that fireplaces should be cleaned when 1/8″ of sooty buildup is evident inside the chimney and flue system. If any glaze is appearing in the flue, cleaning should be done even if there is less than 1/8″ of buildup. Any time an appreciable accumulation of soot and creosote occurs it can be enough to fuel a chimney fire that may damage the chimney and even spread to the roof and home. Furnace flue systems also require cleaning, so don’t neglect regular cleaning of those venting systems. Some heavy use fireplaces produce an incredible amount of soot and creosote during a cleaning.
Ideally, before the start of the burning season during the spring, summer or early fall is a great time to get your chimney inspection and / or chimney cleaning. Before you think about building a fire or starting up your furnace because the weather has changed, is the time to call your chimney sweep. Maybe you forgot the early cleaning before starting to use the fireplace, stove or furnace? Don’t wait until the fall, we can do your chimney cleaning or inspection any time of year. Call our office now at (844) 415-1543.
Though we may have started small, our persistent attention to our customer’s needs has enabled us to expand to 13 locations across six different states. However, we are just as committed to our mission and our customers as the day we started.
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