Summer is officially coming to an end, and as we usher in the cooler weather and pumpkin spice, it’s time to prepare for the colder months of the year. Though it might be hard to imagine cooler temperatures after a Texas summer, we’ll be switching the A/C to heat and lighting our fireplaces before you know it. But before you do, be sure to get your chimney professionally cleaned.
How Often Should I Have My Chimney Cleaned?
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), you should have your property inspected and your chimney professionally cleaned at least once every year to protect your property and prevent chimney fires. The beginning of the fall season is the perfect time to have your chimney inspected and cleaned to remove any debris buildup or bird nests built on the chimney cap. A good chimney cleaner will also examine the mortar and bricks to ensure they are intact and trim tree limbs or branches hanging above or near the chimney top.
A fireplace or chimney should be cleaned annually or when there is 1/8’’ of creosote and soot buildup on the chimney liner. If you don’t use your chimney, you may not need to clean it as often — but you should still have your property inspected annually to ensure it is safe.
Why Do I Need to Clean My Chimney?
If you put off having your chimney cleaned year after year, creosote (a black, tar-like buildup made of carbonaceous chemicals) will build up on your chimney walls, leading to potential chimney fires. An unclean chimney can also increase toxic gas, such as carbon monoxide, that is harmful when inhaled. Chimney damage can occur during severe weather or when exposed to excessive moisture, causing erosion or shifting in the chimney masonry or joints. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) encourages annual cleanings no matter how often you use your chimney to prevent any damage or potential harm.
How Do I Know When My Chimney Should be Cleaned?
Though there are a few signs that could indicate that your chimney needs to be cleaned, it can be hard to tell just how much creosote has built up or what debris has blocked the chimney pathway without a professional cleaning. However, if your chimney smells like a campfire when lit, if smoke fills the room when burning, if you have difficulty getting fires to stay lit, if you find oily spots or marks on the walls of your fireplace, or if there is evidence of animals inside the chimney — it is definitely time to have your chimney cleaned.
How to Make Sure Your Fireplace and Chimney Are Safe
The best way to ensure that your fireplace and chimney are safe is to call a professional cleaner to inspect and clean your chimney once a year. You can also close the damper (the hinged flap above the fireplace that controls airflow) when the fireplace is not being used to prevent heat loss and cold air from coming in. Chimney Sweeping Logs have become popular over the years in loosening creosote buildup, but they can’t replace a professional cleaning or inspection.
Our team of specialists at 1st Choice Chimney Commercial will inspect and clean the chimneys located on your property, removing soot and creosote to keep your fireplaces safe. We issue an inspection report after each maintenance service is complete. If we discover that repairs are needed, our team can easily take care of any problems found.
Let us be your 1st Choice Chimney service.