Do I Need to Have My Chimney Serviced?
Chimneys are an integral part of a home-heating system, and they require regular evaluation and maintenance. Most homeowners have little working knowledge of chimneys and venting systems. The fact that faults, damage, and problems are rarely visible to the casual observer further complicates the situation. The threat of chimney fires and unsafe indoor air quality can be greatly reduced, perhaps even eliminated, if homeowners only understood that chimneys require regular maintenance.
What is The Chimney Sweeper's Role? The primary job of a chimney-service professional is to monitor your chimney, clean and maintain your chimney, and to advise of changes/service to improve its performance and safety.
What is a Safety Inspection? The Chimney Sweep serviceman will check the condition of your firebox, damper, and flue to determine typical problems such as built up creosote, mortar deterioration, obstructions inside the flue, and malfunctioning damper parts. He will alert you to any problems that he finds and provide you with a written estimate for any needed repairs. You are under no obligation to contract us to do such repairs. However, it may not be safe to continue using your fireplace until those problems are addressed.
How Often Should My Chimney Be Cleaned? We recommend that you have your chimney cleaned about every two years, or for about every cord of wood burned. If you notice an odor or if your fireplace is not drafting properly, call us to inspect it before continuing to use it.
What Causes Creosote or "Soot"? Creosote or "soot" is caused by simply burning materials, such as wood, in your fireplace. There is no way to prevent the build up of creosote. Now you are probably asking, "What is creosote?" It is basically unburned fuel that gathers in the form of black powder, flakes, or a baked-on glaze, depending on the degree of buildup. This is one of the main causes of chimney fires. When there is an excess buildup of creosote in the chimney and temperatures rise, the soot is ignited and an actual fire is started inside your chimney, showering your roof with sparks.
What Causes Smoke Problems? Smoke problems may be caused by:
- A dirty flue / chimney preventing draft
- A bigger or smaller flue than needed
- Improper air pressure in the house
- Obstruction in flue
- Damper not opening properly