How often should I get my chimney cleaned and other chimney facts?

How often should I get my chimney cleaned is a frequently asked question that we hear from our customers?  The answer most often relies on the amount of fires that have been burned in a fireplace as well as the type of material that was burned in it since it’s last professional chimney cleaning.

Do you know what an experienced chimney sweep does?  Their primary job is to remove blockages, soot, and built-up creosote from the chimney liner, smoke chamber, firebox, and damper. By removing these unwanted elements, you will ensure safer operation.

It only takes a small amount of creosote to create the potential for chimney fires.  A highly flammable substance, creosote builds up inside your chimney as a result of burning wood.  The accumulation can vary if you have a fireplace that isn’t working properly.  The type of wood you choose also makes a difference.  Pine should be avoided because it causes a rapid buildup of creosote-reducing the draw in the chimney and reducing its efficiency.

Cleaning and Inspection

The best time to get your chimney cleaned and inspected is in spring or summer.  This allows you to get the jump on the busy season, and also allows time to do any repairs if needed.  It also depends on how often you use your fireplace.  Even if you don’t use your fireplace regularly, squirrels, birds, and other pests may use your chimney for a home making it unsafe to use. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says, “Fireplaces, Chimneys, Flues and Venting Systems need to be inspected at least once a year for freedom from deposits, soundness, and correct clearances. Maintenance, Repairs and Cleaning shall be done if necessary.”

Most homeowners opt to have their chimney cleaning and inspection done every year especially if they use their fireplace on a regular basis.  Chimney Sweeps of America’s technicians are certified by the CSIA to provide an expert opinion on your fireplace safety and whether or not it needs cleaning.  A trained chimney sweep will remove blockages and built-up creosote as well as soot from your fireplace, damper, chimney liner and smoke chamber.

A chimney inspection will determine if your chimney was affected by the freeze and thaw cycles resulting in cracks in the masonry and liner that allow deadly gasses into your home.  Fixing any defects promptly is the best way to avoid costly repairs and the safest most cost-effective way to ensure the safety of your fireplace.   An inspection is an important way to make sure that an undiscovered defect doesn’t turn into an expensive repair or worse yet – a chimney fire.

During the winter, it’s fun to sit in front of a roaring fire. An annual cleaning and inspection of your system is the best way to prevent your fireplace from becoming a dangerous fire hazard. The professionals at Chimney Sweeps of America, serving Denver, and the front range of Colorado will help you set up a plan to keep your chimney and fireplace clean and trouble free.

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