Don’t Forget To Schedule Your Chimney Cleaning
As the weather slowly creeps up and the yard seems to steal all your free time, it’s important to remember your chimney. It’s likely the last thing you would think to schedule at this time of year, but it’s actually the best time to think about scheduling your annual chimney cleaning. While you’re at it, it’s best to consider scheduling your annual chimney inspection as well. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) encourages all homeowners to schedule annual chimney sweeps and inspection for your safety.
Why do I need an annual chimney cleaning?
As wood burns in your chimney, soot and residue accumulates. The more you burn, the quicker this builds up. It’s important to keep up with this residue because it consists of a dangerous mixture of chemicals called creosote. Creosote is made up of hundreds of chemicals and is a thick, oily substance that coats your chimney. It’s highly flammable and shouldn’t be ignored.
As mentioned above, the NFPA encourages yearly cleanings. However, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) encourages homeowners to perform cleanings whenever 1/8” of soot has built up. While this is hard to gauge, it’s important to consider if you tend to burn fires in your chimney frequently.
Creosote is Bad for Your Health
Not only is buildup an issue when it comes to house fires, it also isn’t good for the health of you and your family members if neglected.
The chemicals in creosote aren’t healthy to be inhaled in large amounts. As this chemical mixture builds up on your chimney walls, there isn’t as clear of an escape route for the smoke, which pushes potentially harmful chemicals back into your home.
What can I do to keep my chimney clean?
While nothing will replace annual cleanings, there are a few things you can do throughout the year to ensure the healthiest and cleanliest fireplace conditions. Below are a few tips to follow:
- Be conscious of the firewood you use — certain types of wood lend hand to a quicker buildup of creosote. These types of woods are softwoods, such as pine, spruce, and balsam. Hard woods, on the other hand, build up slower.
- Ensure there is a clear path for smoke to exit your chimney — At your yearly cleaning, our certified chimney sweeps will look for several things. One important thing is checking for any blockage on top of or in the chimney. This can be debris, animal droppings, or even deceased animals.
- Clear out ash as it builds up — You’ll notice that as your have more fires, ash will collect in your fireplace. Make sure to empty this out semi-regularly. This will minimize the residual fire smells as well as keep the area tidier.
Call the experts at Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace is a trusted, local, family-owned chimney and fire-place service company that’s served residents in Orange County, Long Beach, and Los Angeles for over three decades.
Homeowners and property managers come to us as their go-to source for fireplace cleaning, maintenance, repairs, inspection, and installation.
Call us today to schedule an appointment at (714) 843-9944 or request service online.