Having a fireplace or woodstove adds comfort and warmth to your home, especially during colder months. If you are regularly burning wood, it is absolutely vital to engage in chimney cleaning. But how often should you be cleaning and why is it so important?
Read on to learn how to keep your home happy, warm and safe!
How Often Should You Clean Your Chimney?
Homeowners should have their chimney cleaned and inspected once a year, either in the spring, summer or early fall. Fireplaces and woodstoves are most utilized in winter, so making sure your chimney is cleaned and properly functioning in the offseason allows you to use your chimney when you need it most.
Importance of Chimney Cleaning
Chimney cleaning is incredibly important, as it removes creosote (a byproduct of wood combustion that consists mainly of tar) from the chimney liner and smoke box to reduce the risk of a chimney fire. To keep it free from debris and critters, chimneys that are not much used still require regular cleaning, especially if the chimney cap has been compromised.
What Does a Chimney Inspection Consist Of?
A chimney inspection is equally important to maintain the safety of your home. During the inspection, the chimney is checked to make sure there are no obstructions or cracks that could impact your home, health and the performance of your fireplace or woodstove.
Items inspected include:
- Chimney cap, flue and liner
- The chimney cap keeps debris, moisture and critters out of your chimney. A cracked or missing cap could lead to these items finding a way into your home.
- The flue is the pipe that expels the dangerous fumes and smoke from a fire. If the flue and its liner are blocked with layers of soot and creosote, your home can quickly become a fire risk.
- Bricks and mortar
- Bricks that are missing or cracked, and mortar with gaps can allow unwanted debris or critters into your home.
- Chimney flashing
- The flashing ensures the connection between the chimney and the house is watertight. Damaged chimney flashings are a leading cause of leaks.
- Chimney damper
- Having a broken chimney damper means the heat or air in your home is escaping and could impact your energy bills.
Risks of Not Having Your Chimney Cleaned
Fireplaces and woodstoves are common fire starters, especially when they have not been cleaned or inspected regularly. There are many risks that come with having a chimney in your household, so making sure it’s regularly serviced and working properly can eliminate these risks and ensure the safety of your home.
- Fire risk and hazard
- Chimney cap damage
- Toxic buildup from creosote
- Chimney blockages
- Severe smoke and carbon monoxide inhalation risk
If you’ve had a chimney fire at your home, don’t wait. Call Rainbow International at (855) 724-6269 to begin your remediation. Our experts are here to help you through your time of need with thorough, quality, emergency smoke damage restoration and fire damage remediation services. Locate the Rainbow International nearest you or schedule an appointment online.
Learn how to construct a fireplace screen out of an old window, with help from Glass Doctor®. Like Rainbow International, Glass Doctor is a part of the Neighborly® community of home services brands.