The start of the New Year is a great time to make resolutions: to eat healthier, spend more time with family, travel, and many more. In addition to your regular resolutions, this year resolve to take better care of your chimney!
Chimneys should be swept and inspected at least once per year, and getting it done in January is a great way to start the year off right. By having your chimney swept now you can enjoy it with confidence for the rest of the year, knowing that there are no safety concerns that could impact the health or safety of your family.
How often do chimneys need to be swept?
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that all chimneys should be swept annually. The primary purpose having your chimney swept is to remove creosote, an extremely flammable substance that is created by fuel-burning fires. This black, sticky substance clings to the interior of the flue and its accidental ignition is the leading cause of chimney fires. Chimney sweeps will also remove any soot, ash, or other debris present in the chimney.
In addition to cleaning the flue, an inspection will also be performed to check for “soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances.” The inspection is equally important because it can alert you to any changes in the condition of your fireplace and chimney over the past year. Spotting problems early is often the best way to prevent them from turning into major – and costly – issues down the road.
Can I clean my chimney myself?
While there are many jobs around the house that homeowners can do themselves, cleaning their chimney is not one of them. Certified chimney sweeps are highly trained professionals who have worked for year to obtain their qualifications. In addition to being experts on fireplace and chimney systems, certified chimney sweeps also have the tools and training to correctly clean your entire chimney system, not just give it a cursory cleaning.
Finally, certified sweeps know what they are looking at. Chimney systems are surprisingly complex and have a number of parts that must all be in good condition in order for your fireplace and chimney to operate their best. Homeowners, contractors, roofers, or other non-chimney sweeps may not be able to spot the beginning signs of damage to your chimney system.
Why is an annual chimney sweep important?
Having a chimney sweep done each year minimizes the risk of safety concerns such as chimney fire by removing soot, ash, debris, and creosote. Likewise, clean fireplaces and chimneys are able to operate more efficiently, saving you money on fuel.
Even if you don’t use your fireplace frequently during the year, you should still have an annual sweep and inspection done. “A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” said CSIA Director of Education Ashley Eldridge. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”
Spotting a problem early is the best way to save you both time and money in the long run. If you’re ready to start off the New Year with a clean chimney, contact the experts at Mason’s Chimney Service today!