What you need to know about fireplace and chimney cleaning

What you need to know about fireplace and chimney cleaning

Chimney Cleaning

Chimney cleaning is getting upon us. Its a good time for inspections and cleanings since the weather is nice and you have time until the burning season. If there’s a lengthy repair now is the time to do so. to insure your fireplace irresistible, take time to make sure your fireplace is as safe as it is inviting. A 2016 report from the National Fire Protection Association states that a leading factor contributing to home heating fires was the failure to clean chimneys.

Chimney Cleaning is not a  DIY chore. It’s best to hire a CSIA  (Chimney Safety Institute of America) Certified Chimney Sweep , like Advanced Chimney. That’s because cleaning and inspecting chimneys involves a lot more than just sweeping soot.

 

How often should a chimney be inspected?

Every year. New wood-burning installations such as fireplaces or wood-burning stoves should be checked midway through the first heating season to confirm everything is working properly.

 

How often should a chimney be cleaned?

 Cleaning should be done as necessary — normally when there’s a minimum 1/8-inch of deposit in the chimney flue. An annual inspection will determine if any sweeping or repairs are needed.

It can be necessary to sweep more than once a year if the fuel or the venting system are not properly matched. Or if your using improper burning techniques or using poorly seasoned wood or burning at low temps. We have a quick tip section about proper maintenance here.

 

Why get a chimney inspected and cleaned in the first place?

  • The acidic deposits from the combustion process  weakens masonry or metal chimneys. This will cause them to deteriorate quickly.
  • Creosote, a flammable material resulting from incomplete combustion, builds up on he inside surfaces of your chimney and chimney cap.  Creosote can become very dangerous and cause a chimney fire that can spread to your home easily.
  • If a chimney is used infrequently, critters and birds can collect and nest there, blocking the chimney. Your also likely to have debris of all kinds built up.
  • High winds or driving rain can also damage chimneys. CSIA recommends that, as a general rule, a chimney should have a rain cap to keep out animals and water as these are the primary reasons chimneys fail.

What should a professional chimney cleaning include?

  • Sweeping the fireplace, checking the firebox, liners, smoke chamber and flue, chimney exterior and inspecting the appliance for proper clearances.
  • Recommendations for proper operation or replacement of equipment and necessary repairs to equipment or structure.
  • A video inspection. It may mean an additional cost, but it could detect hidden damage.

How do I select a qualified chimney sweep?

  • Advanced Chimney serves the tri-state area and meets all the below criteria.
  •  Hire CSIA Certified chimney sweeps and verify that the certification is active. For more information, go online or call CSIA at 317.837.5362.
  • Ask for proof of insurance (at least $300,000), and verify with the insurer that the policy is current.

What to do for other chimneys and heat sources in the home?

Wood-burning stoves also have flues and chimneys that need a yearly inspection. If the stove is being operated properly, you will find a gray ash as the predominant residue. However, if there’s shiny build-up on the inside of the door, it’s an indication that the fire is being burned at low temperatures. This means your full is not in the ideal temp range for most efficient combustion. Thus more is leftover to deposit in your chimney.

Low-burning fires produce an even greater accumulation of creosote on the chimney. But don’t be so quick to burn hotter until the chimney is swept. That’s because turning up the heat when there’s an accumulation of creosote in the chimney could cause a fire.

 

Can I clean the chimney myself?

Don’t clean your chimney yourself. It requires some special tools and getting on your roof. If it needs a cleaning hire a pro. They’ll be able to inspect it while there up there. Mot places give a free level 1 inspection with  cleaning.

 

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