Summer’s over, and winter’s on the way, and that means another season of fireplace use. In order to use your fireplace throughout the burning season with confidence and peace of mind, you’ll need the usual cleaning and inspection. This year, why not have this service done early in the fall, rather than right when winter starts? There are a couple good reasons to do this.
Every fire protection agency in America recommends yearly cleaning of fireplaces and chimneys – particularly those that burn wood. According to the National Fire Protection Association, home heating appliances are the cause of the majority of house fires, and chimneys are to blame for most of those. Chimney fires happen with the igniting creosote, a sticky and highly flammable smoke by-product that clings to chimney liners. This is why chimneys must be cleaned.
Here are two key reasons to arrange fireplace and chimney service before winter.
1. When winter starts, that’s when chimney cleaning companies get busy
If you wait until the last minute to schedule an appointment with a chimney sweep, you might have to wait longer for that appointment to happen. That could translate into either not using your fireplace as the colder weather sets in, or running a fire in a system that is potentially dangerous. Chimney sweeps get very busy just before Thanksgiving and into December, so don’t wait until then to get one out to your house.
2. Repairs may be needed, and that could take time
Until your fireplace and chimney are professionally inspected, it’s impossible to know if any damage exists and to what extent. It’s not uncommon for older systems to need repairs – this is especially true of systems that have gone years without inspection and routine maintenance. By scheduling an inspection in the fall, you be able to get everything in good working order by winter.
What is involved in cleaning and inspection?
A good chimney sweep will provide comprehensive service. No stone will be left unturned, and all components of the fireplace/chimney system will work the way they’re intended to. Elements of cleaning and inspection include:
· Surveying the brick and mortar of the chimney to check for signs of cracking and decomposition. Any breach in these materials can allow in water, which will create significant damage over time.
· Inspection of the chimney cap, crown and flashing above the roof. Caps and flashing can be damaged by years of weather exposure; crowns can crack like other parts of the chimney’s building materials.
· Complete cleaning of the chimney liner to remove creosote. Inspection of the inside of the chimney may also turn up obstructions such as bird’s nests, small dead animals and debris like twigs and leaves.
· During work inside the chimney, the sweep will determine if the liner itself is damaged and needs repair or replacement. A damaged liner will allow intense heat to escape the chimney within the structure of the home.
Chimney Solutions of Alpharetta, Ga., provides full-service cleaning, inspection and repair of all types of fireplace and chimney systems. Beat the rush and get your chimney inspected early by calling 770-255-1300.