Is it Time to Clean Your Chimney?October 31, 2014
Maryland is still teasing us with warm, sunny days, but the nights keep getting colder and colder. If you haven’t already started a fire in your fireplace or stove, it won’t be long until this extra warmth is welcome. But before you gather the firewood and get that fire going, make sure your chimney is ready for the season. And if it’s not, you can always rely on our Baltimore chimney cleaning services to ensure your fireplace is safe to use.
Why You Need Chimney Cleaning
We’ve talked about why you need to clean your chimney in one of our previous posts, but let’s do a quick recap. Whether you burn wood, coal, oil or gas, the resulting smoke travels through the chimney and condenses as it meets cooler temperatures. The particles contained in the smoke then solidify, forming a layer of creosote (soot) on the chimney walls. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that is the number one cause of chimney fires, which can be dangerous and even deadly.
Know When to Clean
As you can see, when you neglect chimney maintenance, you could be putting your house and family at risk. Over the years, creosote buildup can reach dangerous levels, restricting your chimney’s airflow and potentially leading to a fire. Here are a few examples when you might want to schedule chimney inspection and cleaning as soon as possible:
- You have just moved into a house with a fireplace or a stove that you are planning to keep and use.
- Your chimney is having performance issues such as poor oxygen draw.
- Your fireplace stinks in the summer as the weather gets humid.
- You have recently upgraded or modified your fireplace with an insert.
- There is a visible buildup of creosote, which may appear as shiny, flaky or sticky residue inside the flue.
- No one in your house remembers when the chimney was last swept.
Even if your chimney doesn’t show any warning signs and you don’t use it that much, the National Fire Protection Association recommends getting your chimney inspected on an annual basis to determine the need for cleaning and maintenance. Various critters like to make nests inside your chimney when it’s not in use, so it’s worth having it checked out before the heating season.
Make sure the Maryland chimney sweep you hire is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). This means he or she understands the complexity of the chimney systems and knows the most effective ways to remove creosote buildup.
When is the Best Time for Chimney Cleaning?
The best time to have your chimney cleaned would be either at the beginning or at the end of the heating season. When your chimney is cleaned in the spring, you won’t be stuck with the smelly creosote all summer. It might also be easier to schedule a convenient appointment, because most people tend to wait till fall. Meanwhile, there is still time for chimney inspection and cleaning if you haven’t taken care of it yet.
Contact Town and Country Chimney Service today to schedule your appointment for Maryland chimney sweep.