5 Reasons to Keep Your Chimney Clean
Homeowners who don’t keep their chimneys clean may face a variety of problems. Some of these problems can be serious and lead to property damage and injury. Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace of Huntington Beach, CA, would like to share some thoughts about the importance of regular chimney cleaning and what can happen if this important maintenance task is ignored.
Here are five common problems:
1. Chimney fires
Ignited creosote is the cause of most chimney fires in America each year. Because it’s so flammable, even small amounts of it can catch fire. Chimney fires may be major or minor, but in all cases, they can do serious damage to a chimney and home.
2. Acidic damage
Creosote can be sticky, flaky, puffy or solid. In all its forms, it’s very acidic and over time can damage chimney liners, chimney masonry and other parts of a chimney system.
3. Drafting problems
The buildup of creosote and soot in a flue will narrow the smoke passage. This can cause smoke and dangerous combustion gases to filter back into the home. The greatest concern here is carbon monoxide, which is carried in smoke and can cause illness and even death.
4. Smelly chimney
A neglected chimney may contain large amounts of outside debris from trees. Additionally, small animals can enter the chimney, where they build nests and sometimes die, unable to escape. All this debris not only adds to the drafting problem, it can also make for some pretty strong odors spilling into the home.
5. Weak combustion
When a chimney flue is obstructed, it can’t pull enough air from the house into the firebox to create a vibrant, aggressive fire. Fire requires air, and chimneys full of creosote and debris simply can’t provide it. Weak fires produce more smoke, which adds to the creosote problem.
Annual chimney cleaning is widely recommended
Organizations such as the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and many others recommend that chimneys be cleaned once a year. The primary reason for this is to remove a substance called “creosote,” which builds up in the chimney flue every time a wood fire is burned. Outside debris will also be removed during a chimney sweeping.
What happens during a chimney sweep
Professional chimney technicians use specialized brushes, rods, whips, chains, solvents and vacuums to thoroughly remove creosote and debris from chimneys. Sweeps who are properly trained are careful to protect the inside of the home from soot and other substances.
The job doesn’t take very long, and it can usually be scheduled at your convenience. It’s best to schedule chimney sweeping at a time other than late fall or early winter, when crews tend to be busier than usual. A Level 1 chimney inspection should take place at the time of the sweeping.
This inspection covers all readily accessible areas of your chimney system. If damage is discovered or suspected, a more thorough inspection can be done.
The help your chimney needs
Since 1987, Oliver Twist Chimney Sweep has provided licensed chimney sweeping, inspections and repair work throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties. If it’s time to have your chimney cleaned the right way, call the Southland chimney experts at (714) 843-9944 or get in touch by using our simple contact form.