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Chimney Services Blog

How Does Chimney Sweeping Work?

If your home has a fireplace or wood-burning stove, it has a chimney that carries smoke from the fire to the outside of your house. Did you know that regular chimney sweeping is necessary to ensure safe wood burning inside your home? Let’s take a look at some FAQs about how chimney sweeping works!

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What is the chimney sweeping process?

The service technician will first inspect all areas of your fireplace or stove, and chimney. They will perform a visual inspection of the hearth, smoke chamber, firebox, flue, and smoke shelf. Depending on the results of their inspection, they will decide which parts of your chimney need to be cleaned.

What is creosote, and why is it dangerous?

Creosote is the carbon-based chemical that builds up along the walls of your chimney when wood or fossil fuels are burned. The most common reason for creosote buildup is a lower than normal amount of airflow during wood-burning. Creosote is sooty and tar-like in appearance. If not removed properly, it can cause rashes, skin irritation, burning of the mouth and throat, kidney damage, and even loss of consciousness or death.

What tools are used for cleaning a chimney?

The amount of creosote buildup is important in determining which tools are best to use for cleaning your chimney. If you have had your chimney regularly inspected and swept, technicians may only need a small and gentle polypropylene brush to remove the dangerous chemicals. However, if the creosote has built up over time it can develop into a thick layer of tar-like material that requires much more heavy-duty, abrasive and powerful tools.

How do I know when my chimney needs cleaning?

It is recommended that chimneys be swept and inspected once a year, preferably before wood burning season arrives. This ensures that your fireplace or wood stove is in the best condition possible before colder seasons and helps prevent the need for chimney maintenance or repairs throughout the year.

What are ways I can keep my chimney clean?

Only burning the appropriate types of wood in your fireplace or wood stove is a great way to prevent added buildup of creosote and other harmful chemicals in your chimney. Regular cleanings by a professional are highly recommended, since they have the proper equipment for a full inspection and chimney sweep and the knowledge on how to deal with creosote safely.

Town & Country is a Baltimore chimney sweeping service proudly serving Baltimore city, as well as Baltimore, Howard, Carroll, and Anne Arundel counties. For more information on chimney sweeping or to schedule a chimney service appointment, contact us today!

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