Now that summer is over and we start moving toward the cold season, make sure to add chimney cleaning and chimney inspection to your to-do list. Getting your chimney and fireplace in top shape now will give you peace of mind during the winter months when you start using your fireplace regularly. Inspections and professional cleaning for your chimney are important for several reasons. Here are a few of them.
Wood-burning fireplaces add flammable creosote to your chimney flue every time you burn logs. Creosote is responsible for the majority of chimney fires in the U.S. each year. CSIA-certified chimney sweeps use special brushes, scrapers, solvents and vacuums to remove creosote from inside the chimney and restore safe operation.
A clear path for smoke to draft
Creosote can build up to the point it causes an obstruction to the flow of smoke. Other obstructions also can prevent smoke from drafting properly, which can result in smoke and dangerous carbon monoxide backing up into your home. Leaves, twigs, large amounts of dust, small-animal nests and dead small animals themselves all can lead to drafting issues. Professional chimney sweeps remove these obstructions from your flue.
Chimney inspections spot early signs of damage
The best way to keep your chimney structure and its components safe is with annual chimney inspections by a CSIA-certified inspector. Chimney inspectors can spot early signs of damage that homeowners normally miss and recommend the best repair solutions to keep the damage from becoming a serious and expensive problem.
A typical chimney inspection covers:
- exterior bricks and mortar
- some inspections include video technology to look down into the chimney’s interior
- chimney cap
- chimney crown
- roof flashing
- fireplace damper
- smoke chamber/smoke shelf
- and all other chimney components
Reasons to schedule a chimney inspection right now
If you notice any of the following, don’t wait for your annual chimney inspection. Call your chimney sweep company right away.
- Loose or missing bricks within the masonry
- Crumbling mortar on the roof near the chimney
- A chimney that leans to one side
- Water inside the firebox
- Dampness on walls/ceiling near the fireplace
- Excess smoke backing up into the house
- Strong or unpleasant odors coming from the firebox
- Growing patches of white staining on the exterior of the chimney
You also should schedule a chimney inspection if you know or suspect you’ve had a chimney fire. Not all chimney fires are large and obvious; many start and then go out on their own. But no matter the size, a fire in your chimney can cause serious damage to the flue liner and the bricks and mortar of the chimney. The most common signs of a chimney fire include larger-than-normal amounts of smoke, a strange clicking or tapping sound and a rumbling sound like a distant train. If you notice any of these signs, call your local emergency services and follow up soon with a thorough chimney inspection.
Fluesbrothers Chimney Service of Kansas City, KS, is ready to help with chimney cleaning and chimney inspection in your home this fall. We’ll get you ready for a safe winter with a chimney that works the way it should. Call us today at (913) 236-7141.