Many homeowners put off cleaning their chimneys despite knowing that they should. Your chimney, as a part of your home, definitely needs maintenance and cleaning. However, doing so can be a really messy and challenging job, especially for the inexperienced, which is why many will choose to leave it alone. But as we go further, you will see that you will be doing your home a great favor by having your chimney cleaned regularly.
The Top Reasons Why Chimney Cleaning Is An Important Part Of Home Maintenance:
- Prevent fire hazards – In time, your unkempt chimney will be filled with soot, blockages, and creosote buildup. Because creosote is a highly flammable substance, it only takes a small accumulation of it to cause a chimney fire.
- Help keep your home free of allergens – The buildup in your chimney is a mix of many pollutants. Aside from the substances formed from burned wood, dust and other debris can also accumulate. Your family and you can easily inhale those irritants and allergens.
- Eliminate carbon monoxide poisoning risks – If the buildup inside the chimney is too much, it can eventually block the passage of smoke. This can cause smoke to back up and stay inside your home. If it happens while you are asleep, there is a risk of being asphyxiated by carbon monoxide. At the very least one may experience headaches, nausea and other symptoms that are sometimes mistaken for colds.
- Get rid of odors – All that buildup will inevitably send strong smells down into your home and when you use your fireplace, the substances will be burned, intensifying the odor further.
- Maintain the chimney’s functionality – Regular cleaning, maintenance, and inspection will prolong the service life of your chimney. It will also keep you from spending a lot on repair costs in the future.
The Best Way to Clean Your Chimney: DIY or Hire a Pro?
We’ve been seeing a lot of do-it-yourself projects lately. Some of the more daring homeowners believe that sweeping a chimney is easy and attempt to do the task themselves to save money. If the chimney isn’t so dirty, it looks pretty easy, right?
But to be honest with you, it’s not. Chimney cleaning is one of the maintenance projects that is best left to the professionals. They know which equipment and tools need to be used, and what methods must be applied.
You wouldn’t want to be stuck in the chimney like this Santa, would you?
How often should you clean your chimney and when is the best time?
If you have not had your chimney checked and cleaned for a long time, the best time to call a professional is NOW. Otherwise, chimney cleaning frequency depends on how much you use your fireplace or wood stove. But generally, the CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) recommends cleaning chimneys when 1/8-inch of buildup is already evident. As for the time of year, cleaning is best performed before the burning season, which is during summer or early fall.
Chad Williams is the President of All American Roofs, a top provider for exterior maintenance, repairs and renovations needs for homes and businesses in Northern Virginia. He loves writing blogs to share his knowledge and tips on home improvement to others.