We rely on our chimneys to burn safely and efficiently year after year. However, even well functioning chimneys need regular maintenance; an annual chimney sweep is the best thing you can do for your chimney system. Not only will a sweep leave your chimney cleaner and safer to use, but it can also extend the life of your chimney system and allow you to continue to enjoy it for years to come.
Why chimney sweeping matters
Our fireplaces provide us with years of warmth, comfort, and enjoyment. In order to keep them burning, regular maintenance is needed. By taking care of the chimney before any performance problems arise, preventative maintenance can help to reduce the risk for costly damage and repairs as well as keep the fireplace burning safely.
A chimney sweeping is one of the best ways to have preventative maintenance performed on your chimney. In Standard 211, the National Fire Protection Association recommends, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”
Even if you only use your fireplace a few times each year, an annual chimney sweeping is still needed. Unused chimneys are sometimes at an even higher risk of problems such as animal entry or debris blockages; because they are used so infrequently, many homeowners do not even realize there is something blocking their chimney.
What to expect during a chimney sweeping
The purpose of a chimney cleaning is to remove any potential safety hazards, blockages, or buildup from the flue. During the sweeping, the chimney technician will use tools such as brushes and vacuums as a way to remove soot, ash, and creosote from the flue.
The removal of creosote is particularly important – and one of the major reason chimney sweepings are needed. Although it is a natural byproduct of fuel burning fires, creosote is extremely flammable; if too much accumulates in the flue it puts you at greater risk for accidental chimney fire.
Don’t forget to have a chimney inspection, too!
While a chimney sweeping removes soot, ash, and creosote, a chimney inspection looks for any signs of deterioration to the fireplace system.
“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”
During a chimney inspection, the technician will access and inspect all accessible areas of both the inside and outside of the fireplace and chimney. Inspections are a way to identify chimney damage when it is still minor, long before major – or costly – repairs are needed. Chimney inspections are often used as a diagnostic tool to uncover the cause of ongoing fireplace problems including leaks, drafts, and animal entry.
Preventative maintenance can extend the life of your fireplace system and keep it burning brightly for years to come. If your chimney hasn’t been swept in several years, now is the perfect time to have it cleaned. Call Magic Broom today to schedule your next chimney sweep or inspection.