Is It Time For a Chimney Sweep?

This time of year, there’s nothing like sitting in front of the fireplace with your significant other for a  romantic evening, or gathering with family members, laughing and reminiscing. But in order to keep those goods times rolling, we have to make sure proper maintenance is done to our fireplace so that they can operate as the should.  It may be difficult to tell if it is time for a chimney sweep if you have just purchased a home and are unsure how often the previous owner had maintenance done. Gain Inspect is here to help you. Lets talk about some clues to lookout for and help you know when it’s time to have your chimney cleaned.

So what is a chimney sweep?

A chimney sweep is a cleaning/inspection done to remove any buildup that could create a blockage in the liner. This keeps your chimney free of buildup to allow combustion products to flow out of the house as intended and not back into your home, which is a safety hazard.

Look out for these clues. If you notice any, it may be time for a chimney sweep.

  • Creosote Buildup. If you notice a burning smell but the fireplace is not lit, it could be that creosote is building up along the chimney walls. Creosote is a natural by-product of a burning fire. It’s a highly flammable material and you’ll know when it may be creating a coating along the chimney wall by the burning smell it gives off.
  • Animal Entry. Not having a chimney cap on your chimney makes it easy for animals to get in. They love to nest inside chimneys because it’s a warm spot, it protects the family from the elements, and from predators. If you ever smell a dead animal in your home, there’s probably animals nesting in your chimney and they will need to be removed.
  • Soot Forming. Soot is a black substance that is the result of incomplete burning of organic materials. If you notice this black substance in the firebox or on the hearth, have a chimney sweep done or creosote will begin to form in the chimney next.
  • Excess Smoke. When you burn a fire and you notice a lot of smoke coming out of the fireplace, this is a sign that there’s a blockage somewhere causing combustion products to flow back into your home. This is a health and safety hazard, and you should not use the fireplace until you have a chimney sweep done by a professional.

No matter how often you use your fireplace, you should have it cleaned annually by a professional.


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