How Do I Know If My Chimney Needs Sweeping?

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There is no doubt that your chimney needs to be cleaned periodically in order to remain safe, and to prevent any hazards from occurring in your household. There are some definite signs which will tell you when your chimney needs to be cleaned, and these are described below so you’ll be able to determine exactly when it’s necessary to undertake a cleaning.

Why is it Important to Clean Your Chimney or Fireplace?

If you fail to clean your chimney regularly and properly, all kinds of nasty developments can occur. For one thing, your household can fill up with hazardous smoke, and can actually suffocate any of the occupants. The creosote and soot which clings to the interior walls can create a significant fire hazard if allowed to build up to a thickness of more than 1/8 inch. It’s also possible that if your chimney is not kept clean and in good working order, that carbon monoxide poisoning can afflict any of the occupants in your home. All these consequences are fairly severe and can even be life-threatening, so it’s definitely worth your while to make sure that it is kept clean at all times.

How Do I Know If My Chimney Needs Sweeping?

In order to determine if it requires cleaning, there are a few signs which you should be on the lookout for. First of all, if you detect the scent of burned wood coming from your fireplace when it’s not being used, that is one telltale indicator. When you are using the fireplace but your fire seems to be burning poorly, or a large volume of smoke remains in the room, this could be another sign that cleaning is necessary. You should check your damper to be sure that it’s not blackened from creosote. If you see a significant buildup of creosote on your damper, that probably indicates that there’s a similar amount of creosote on the walls, and that you should clean it.

How Do I Know If My Chimney Needs Sweeping

Is it Safe to Clean Your Own Chimney?

There are some situations under which it is possible to safely clean your own, but in the majority of cases, you’d be better off to simply engage the services of a professional, so you’re sure no hazardous material is left in the walls. If you are unable to reach into the smoke chamber, and to maneuver a brush around inside that area, you won’t be able to do an effective job and should call in a professional. If you can access the crown which is situated on the roof, you would be able to clean from that end also. However, if you’re not comfortable maneuvering around on your roof, or if it has a very steep pitch, that’s another case where you are better off leaving the job to professionals who can do it safely.

How Often Should a Chimney Be Cleaned?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, all fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected at least once a year and cleaned if necessary. Even if you haven’t been using your fireplace much through the year, it should be inspected to ensure that animals haven’t been building nests there, and that other obstacles haven’t become lodged.

In practical terms, you should always clean it when you become aware that 1/8 of an inch of soot or creosote has become caked onto the sides of your walls. If any more material than this becomes lodged there, it could create a dangerous situation which might trigger a fire.

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Chimney?

If you fail to keep your chimney clean, some serious consequences may result. The creosote buildup on the interior walls might very well cause a fire to be triggered, and that in turn can spread down into your household. Another possible result of failure to keep it clean can be a significant risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and since carbon monoxide is odorless and invisible, there will be no means of detecting it unless you have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home.

A more visible consequence of failing to keep it clean will be the development of hazardous smoke which can fill up your house and cause problems such as suffocation. Needless to say, it’s very important to keep it clean so as to avoid any of these potentially dangerous results.

Looking for a chimney sweep equipment rental service? Contact Chimney Draft Doctor today for details!

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