Why You Should Have Your Chimney Sweep Clean
Many modern homes have flue liners. While there is a myth that lined chimneys do not need to be swept, all chimneys require regular maintenance.
Chimney Sweep Clean uses a tool resembling a giant brush to scrape the coating of creosote from the inside. They put down a tarp or drop cloth and use tools and safety gear to protect themselves and their homes.
- Cleaner Air
Cleaning the chimney ensures that combustible gases can escape into the outdoors rather than entering your home, which is important for air quality. In addition, having your chimney inspected and cleaned prevents carbon monoxide exposure that can be dangerous to you and your loved ones. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you quickly if exposed for prolonged periods. This deadly gas can accumulate in your fireplace and chimney system if your open fire isn’t functioning properly, and having your chimney inspected and cleaned is the best way to keep it from happening.
Chimney sweeps will use a brush on a flexible rod to systematically clean the chimney from inside, up on the roof, or both, depending on the situation and what work needs to be done. They will also use a vacuum system to suck up the soot and ash dust that might fall off during the process. They will also remove any unused wood chunks that are in the fireplace and clean the firebox if needed.
When choosing a chimney sweep, finding one with the proper credentials and experience is important. Look for a CSIA-certified professional and a company with a commercial general liability insurance policy to protect you from any damages during the cleaning, inspection, or repair services.
A good chimney sweep will prep the work area before arriving to avoid making a mess in your living spaces. They will move furniture back from the fireplace and cover it with plastic or a drop cloth to minimize any debris that might fall off during the process. They may also remove any decorative elements near the fireplace or in the flue line. They will also ask you to remove any tools or anything else that could get knocked over while they’re working on the chimney. This will save you both time and money and make the chimney cleaning and inspection process a lot safer for all involved.
- Increased Home Value
The National Fire Protection Association recommends annual chimney cleaning and inspections. Those selling their home should schedule an inspection and cleaning in late spring or summer to ensure the fireplace is ready for fall and winter use.
Chimney sweeps charge different rates based on the level of inspection and the type of fireplace. The chimney sweep’s experience and qualifications are also factors in the price.
Homeowners looking for the best value should shop around and compare prices from several professionals. Checking the chimney sweep’s certifications and memberships in professional organizations is also helpful.
A chimney with heavy creosote and soot buildup will cost more than a recently cleaned chimney. The frequency of fireplace usage also influences the price of a chimney sweep service, as more frequent use leads to quicker buildup.
A classic wood-burning fireplace may require more creosote to remove than a gas fireplace, which is more easily cleared of blockages. The chimney sweep’s equipment and tools also affect the price of a chimney sweep service. They may choose to vacuum the flue or sweep it manually. They may also utilize a camera to see more of the inside of the chimney.
Getting a chimney sweep service done in the fall or summer will help homeowners save money. Many companies offer lower rates in these seasons because of less service demand.
Homeowners must select a reputable chimney sweep with good customer reviews and references. The sweep should have CSIA certification and be a member of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, which provides standards for the industry.
- Prevention of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
While sitting by a warm fire with family and friends can be a soothing, stress-relieving activity at the end of a long day, it can quickly become a dangerous health or safety risk if the fireplace chimney has yet to be cleaned or inspected in a while. A fireplace chimney blocked with soot, creosote, debris, or even an animal nest can easily lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and other health hazards.
Every household appliance that burns fuel produces carbon monoxide (CO). These dangerous fumes must be vented properly to keep people in the home safe. Household appliances that produce CO include wood stoves, gas furnaces, charcoal-burning barbeques, oil burners, and kerosene heaters. Carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless, and tasteless. It is only easy to detect with a detector when it’s in the home. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fatigue. It can also lead to coma and death.
During professional chimney sweeping, the sweeper will use the latest tools and technology to clean all the chimney system surfaces thoroughly. They will also remove any combustible materials, such as leaves, lawn debris, or dead animals, that clog the chimney or pose a fire risk. In addition, the chimney sweep will remove any buildup of flammable creosote glaze and ensure that the chimney is free from obstructions.
Remember that many chimney swindlers try to scare people into having their fireplace chimneys repaired or replaced with new chimney liner systems by showing them a video of animal debris or other debris inside the chimney and telling them that the chimney is broken and needs repair. This type of scam is illegal in most states. Only hire a reputable, experienced chimney sweep with the proper certifications from the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
- Improved Fireplace Performance
Chimneys work hard to provide a cozy, warm home throughout the winter. However, they often need to be cleaned and inspected to ensure they are working as well as possible. If your chimney is dirty, it can cause a variety of problems. These issues include poor air circulation, smoke inhalation, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Chimney sweeps can remove the creosote (a thick, tar-like residue) and soot from your fireplace and chimney, allowing it to function better and more efficiently.
A dirty chimney causes a problem with heat distribution. Soot and creosote buildup limits optimum draft, which makes it harder for your wood stove to burn the fire properly. This can lead to a lack of proper heating and increase energy bills. Creosote can also act as an insulator and limit hot air flow into your living spaces, which can lead to colder homes. Chimney cleaning services ensure a good airflow and reduce foul odors associated with burning wood.
Another benefit of a chimney cleaning service is that they can inspect the condition of your chimney to identify any problems that need to be fixed. This can help to prevent serious structural damage and potentially dangerous gas leaks. Chimney sweeps can also recommend repairs and suggest ways to improve your chimney’s performance.
The chimney and fireplace system are essential components of your home. These structures are designed to eliminate exposure to carbon monoxide, a toxic and inhalable gas that can kill up to 430 people every year. You must hire a professional sweeper to clean your fireplace and chimney regularly.
- Reduced Risk of Fire
Many homeowners experience devastating house fires yearly caused by fireplace and wood stove fires. These fires can result in thousands of dollars worth of property damage and numerous injuries. However, regular chimney sweeping and inspections could easily avoid these fires.
When creosote and soot accumulate on the chimney’s walls, they restrict airflow, preventing the proper combustion of fuel. This results in poor heat distribution throughout the home and energy wastage. On the other hand, a clean chimney ensures adequate airflow, allowing for optimal combustion of the fireplace fuel and resulting in better energy efficiency.
A clean chimney also eliminates smoke backdrafts and allows you to enjoy a cozy, smoke-free living space. It also reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, a dangerous chemical produced when burning fuel. Chimneys are designed to carry carbon monoxide and other byproducts up and out of the home. Still, a clogged chimney prevents these gases from escaping, leading to carbon monoxide exposure, responsible for hundreds of deaths in the United States each year.
As fall approaches, many homeowners consider building their first fire of the season. A dirty chimney is the last thing on anyone’s mind, but following fireplace and chimney safety guidelines is important by having your chimney inspected and cleaned as needed. A chimney sweep will thoroughly clean the inside and outside of your chimney using a brush, vacuum cleaner, and power washer. They will also use a chimney camera to get a closer look at the interior of your chimney to locate any issues that may require attention.