It’s easy to let your annual chimney cleaning and inspection fall by the wayside when you have so much on your to-do list. As professional chimney sweeps, however, we can’t stress enough the importance of having your chimney swept and inspected annually. Your annual chimney and fireplace cleaning and inspection can save you and your home from many dangers and many hassles.
Prevent home fires
First and foremost, your annual chimney cleaning and inspection can save you from a damaging, and potentially deadly, home fire. This is the primary reason the Nation Fire Protection Association recommends having your chimney cleaned and inspected each year. As you burn wood in your fireplace, the smoke that travels up your chimney leaves creosote deposits. Creosote is a thick, tarlike substance that is extremely flammable. Once creosote reaches a certain thickness, the heat of your fires can cause it to burn. While some chimney fires will shoot from the top of your chimney and sound like a freight train, others will burn more subtle, until they spread to the flammable materials of your home.
Even if you haven’t burned wood in your fireplace for year, or if you have a gas fireplace, your chimney should be inspected annually. Chimneys can become clogged with debris, or certain animals will nest inside, causing a fire hazard. Your annual inspection also will identify any structural damage or weaknesses, or signs of a past, undetected chimney fire, that could make your chimney unsafe.
Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
Any time fuel is burned, whether its gas, wood, or wood pellets, carbon monoxide is released. That carbon monoxide should travel up your chimney, but if your chimney is blocked from creosote, and animal’s nest, or a faulty flue, carbon monoxide could be forced back into your home. Carbon monoxide can cause drowsiness, headaches, and nausea, but in extreme cases, it can lead to death. Having your chimney cleaned and inspected annual ensures that your flue is cleared to allow gases to escape.
Detect potential problems
Your annual chimney and fireplace inspection can detect problems with your fireplace or chimney that you may not notice — yet. Your certified chimney sweep inspects all areas of your fireplace, stove, and chimney. He may detect a leak, a crack, or a blocked vent that can be easily fixed at this point, but down the road could lead to costly repairs to your chimney or your home.
Keep your fireplace running efficiently
Especially if you have a gas fireplace, stove, or fireplace insert, your annual cleaning and inspection removes dust and debris from vents or moving parts that can cause wear and tear on your fireplace or stove and keep it from running efficiently. Having all of your fireplace, insert, or stove components cleaned and serviced helps you get the most heat for the least amount of fuel, saving you money and keeping your home more comfortable.
If you have been putting off your annual cleaning and inspection, call the certified chimney sweeps at Total Chimney Care. We’ll make sure your fireplace and chimney are ready to burn safely this winter.