Having a chimney is a luxury that not many homeowners have. But, if you do have one at home, then you know the importance of taking care of them. You have to be on top of your chimney inspections and cleaning. So, how often should you clean your chimney?
If you don’t know the answer to this question, then you should keep reading our blog. We will show you how often you should have your chimney cleaned as well as why and when you should clean it.
Even though there are several types of chimneys, they all need proper maintenance to last several years and to prevent any fires. In other words, don’t neglect taking care of your chimney! So, let’s jump right in and learn everything about chimney cleaning.
How Often Should You Clean Your Chimney?
The average homeowner understands that their chimney needs to be cleaned every once in a while.
But, do they know how often?
Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need to clean their chimney that often if they don’t use it a lot. However, this is wrong.
How often should you clean your chimney? The National Fire Protection Association states that chimney cleaning needs to happen once a year. The Chimney Safety Institute of America says that you need chimney cleaning when there is 1/8” of creosote or soot buildup inside the chimney liner.
Both of these answers are neither right nor wrong. It will all depend on how well you want to take care of your chimney. We advise you to keep reading to know what exactly goes on in a chimney sweep.
We will also discuss why and when you should have chimney inspections and cleaning. And finally, ways that you can keep your chimney safe.
What Happens During Chimney Sweep and Cleaning?
Let’s first discuss what really happens during chimney sweep and cleaning. A chimney sweep removes creosote and other buildups from the chimney liner, smoke chambers, dampers, and fireboxes.
If a chimney is not properly taken care of, then it can become a fire hazard. Also, it could result in expensive repairs down the road. For that reason, keeping your chimney system in check is vital. Not only this, but the life of the chimney will be prolonged.
When you burn wood in the fireplace, an amount of creosote is always deposited in the flue lining. This amount increases when you burn wood that you shouldn’t use in the fireplace.
Creosote is a highly flammable substance, so any amount that is in the lining could catch fire. As a result, this fire could spread from the chimney to the house.
During your chimney sweep and cleaning, the person responsible will clean the fireplace walls with a stiff brush. The chimney cleaner must sweep the fireplace and check that the damper is working correctly.
The person should also remove any soot or debris that came out of the chimney.
The chimney sweeper may notice a problem with the chimney or fireplace. As this is not a chimney inspection, you should try to schedule one as soon as possible. As a result, you’ll know what’s wrong, and a professional should provide the proper solution.
Do You Need an Annual Chimney Inspection?
Some people may wonder if an annual chimney inspection is essential. And the answer is yes.
Chimney cleaning is an important maintenance tip to keep in mind. But, we can’t forget about inspections. You need to have a professional come and check that your chimney is in a good state.
During a chimney inspection, a professional will check multiple problems, including moisture damage and cracks. For instance, if you don’t solve any water deterioration promptly, then you will end up paying a lot of money on repairs.
Also, an inspection will make sure that the flue lining isn’t cracked. This can only be detected with special camera equipment.
You shouldn’t use your fireplace when there’s a crack in the flue lining. This is because heat from the chimney will end up escaping into areas of your home that could cause a fire.
But, you would only know of a crack in the lining with an inspection. For that reason, it’s crucial that you have your chimney inspected at least once a year.
When Should You Have Chimney Inspections and Cleaning?
We mentioned that you should have chimney inspections and cleaning once a year. But, if you notice any sign of damage or deterioration, then you should have your chimney inspected immediately. You should also get an inspection when your heating system is failing.
We recommend getting an inspection during spring or summertime. This is because you would most likely start using your chimney at the start of winter or late fall. As a result, you’ll have plenty of time to do any repairs if you need any.
Also, you will avoid the busy chimney inspection season that starts during fall.
How to Keep Your Chimney Safe?
Finally, it’s vital to know how to keep your chimney safe. You should also beware of the signs of chimney fires. If something has happened, then get your chimney checked as soon as possible.
But, to avoid anything from happening, be sure to follow these tips to keep your chimney safe:
- Don’t let ashes accumulate in the firebox.
- Make sure the damper is completely open before lighting up your fireplace.
- Ensure proper wood burning. Learn which type of wood not to use in your fireplace.
- Put the larger logs on the bottom of the fireplace to burn first. This will produce less smoke.
Don’t let chimney maintenance on the bottom of your to-do list. If you want it to last for a long time and protect your home, then you should do the required maintenance.
So, how often should you clean your chimney? If you want to keep it in good shape, then once a year or every time there’s an amount of creosote in the liner.
You can call one of our experts if you need more information regarding your chimney.