Chimney Blog June 2017

Chimney Cleaning & Maintenance

Posted On: June 30, 2017

First and foremost, if a chimney is cleaned it should always be cleaned professionally. Your average homeowner is not equipped to adequately clean a chimney. It requires specialized tools and an understanding of the construction of the chimney to be able to recognize the warning signs of a chimney that needs repair.

The question of how frequently this professional cleaning should be performed is based on a variety of factors. A quick answer is that it should be professionally cleaned on an annual basis. If your chimney has been taken care of regularly, cleaning once a year should be sufficient. However, the answer to this question is also related to how frequently you use your fireplace or woodstove. It depends on the type of wood you burn in your fireplace. It depends on the age of your chimney and how well it has been maintained.

The frequency that you professionally clean your chimney is related to the standards set by the National Fire Protection Association (NPRA). This group also sets the standard for chimney inspections. An annual chimney inspection can give you a better idea of how frequently you should professionally clean your chimney.

The NPRA recommends that you have a basic chimney inspection annually. This inspection will check your chimney for soundness, freedom from deposits, and the clearances that are necessary to operate your fireplace safely. Even if you don’t use your chimney frequently, it can deteriorate due to animals building nests in the flue or deterioration due to many factors including weather.

The NPRA recommends that you have a chimney sweep come in if you have 1/8” of soot built up and sooner if there is a glaze buildup. A soot or glaze buildup of 1/8” or greater is a buildup that is sufficient enough to potentially spark a fire. If you have a factory-built fireplace, you should get your fireplace professionally cleaned when there is any appreciable buildup.

The deposits that build up in your chimney and fireplace are acidic. This acidic soot is corrosive and aside from being capable of starting a fire, it can significantly deteriorate your chimney.  Only a professional is capable of safely and adequately cleaning your chimney. 


0

Summer Chimney Cleaning

Posted On: June 22, 2017

Have Your Chimney Cleaned This Summer

Summer is here! It's time to turn off the fireplace and head outdoors to enjoy the weather. Just because you're outside, though, it doesn't mean you should forget about the part of your home that kept you warm and cozy all winter long. As a matter of fact, summertime is the perfect time to take care of it by having your chimney serviced and cleaned.

Prevent Problems Before They Happen

On the outside, winter can be hard on your chimney, causing cracks or other damage that can allow water to seep into your home. On the inside, buildup of soot and other debris over the course the winter can easily cause water or smoke damage. Both of these issues can leave your home with a funky smell. Any accumulation of debris inside can create an appealing environment for birds or rodents. It can also pose a potential fire hazard or even lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. By having your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional, you can stop these issues before they ever occur.

Beat the Rush

Many people tend to forget about their chimneys once they no longer need to light a fire, only remembering to get them cleaned once the weather cools down again in the fall, thus creating a mad rush to schedule an appointment with a professional chimney sweep. By having your chimney serviced in the summer, you have a greater opportunity to schedule an appointment quickly and be sure that it fits into your schedule.

Be Prepared

Weather is unpredictable. By having your chimney cleaned in the summer, you can rest easy knowing that should the cold set in sooner than you expected, your fireplace will be ready to go as soon as you need it.

Warmer weather means you can finally give your fireplace, and your chimney, a much needed break. Treat your chimney with the respect it deserves by having it cleaned and serviced now, keeping your home safe and clean, as well as prepared for the day the air inevitably cools again.

0