When it comes to the areas in your home ramonage 78 that you know need attention, your chimney probably doesn’t top the list. In fact, given that its job is to escort smoke and soot from the home and that it’s made of stone or brick, you may think you’re in the clear to ignore and focus on more pressing items like the floors, HVAC system, or yard. However, this can be a costly mistake. Chimney cleaning is an important chore you need to carry out for a number of reasons. If you’re new to the idea or it’s been a while, here’s what you need to know.
Why Your Chimney Needs Attention
Despite its rustic exterior and simple job, your chimney actually does need some attention from time to time. That’s because your chimney can easily become clogged after all the soot it’s exposed to builds up and/or causes blockages. Another threat is called creosote. It’s a chemical that gets released when certain materials are burned. When the whole log, coal or fire-starter you’re using doesn’t burn all the way through, creosote is the byproduct that gets left behind. Over time, it builds up:
- on the inside of your chimney
- in the smoke chamber
- in your firebox
- on the damper.
The problem with soot is that when it clogs the chimney, smoke has a hard time escaping. This can become inconvenient, at best, when you try to light that next fire. Obviously, it could be quite dangerous too. However, as creosote is flammable, if it builds up too much, you could be in all kinds of danger the next time you go to enjoy your fireplace. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much creosote to start a chimney fire (FYI, pine contains more creosote than other kinds of wood and should be avoided for this reason).
Getting Your Chimney Inspected
We’ll talk more about chimney cleaning in a moment, but it’s also important that you get yours inspected regularly. Unless you enjoy an abnormal amount of fires each year, annual inspections will do. Even if you hardly use your fireplace, a chimney inspection is a good idea as the serviceman can take a look at all your heating systems to ensure problems aren’t lurking.
Plus, your chimney can become a home to all kinds of wildlife, even if you think it’s sealed. The next time you try starting a fire or even just open your damper, this can be a serious issue. Having a professional take a look at your chimney, especially right after winter, is a good idea for this reason.