What Gas & Wood Burning Chimneys Have in Common
Wood and gas fireplaces operate differently but they have the same maintenance needs.
The convenience of starting a clean burning fire with the flip of a switch may make you think that your gas fireplace doesn’t need an annual chimney sweeping and inspection like a wood burning fireplace. Even though you don’t have to worry about cleaning ashes out of the firebox or flammable creosote deposits building up in the chimney, a spring chimney cleaning is just as important when you have a gas fireplace.
There are 5 reasons why a gas fireplace should be cleaned and inspected every year.
1. Chimney safety
Many common chimney issues—such as worn out fireplace components, a blocked chimney, and interior water damage—can lead to a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning. Both the National Fire Prevention Association and Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend an annual chimney cleaning and inspection because it has been proven to prevent fatal malfunctions and problems that can endanger your home and loved ones.
2. Clear out debris and animal nests
Critters are attracted to chimneys because of their warmth. Bats, birds, racoons and squirrels are a few of the animals that often make nests inside of chimneys. If one takes up residence in your chimney, it can bring diseases and insect pests with it into your home. Its nest could become a fire hazard or prevent proper ventilation increasing your risk of suffering carbon monoxide poisoning. A certified chimney sweep will be sure to clean out any animal’s nests or lawn debris that have collected in your chimney during a cleaning and inspection. They can also install or repair a chimney cap or chase cover to prevent animals and lawn debris from getting into your chimney in the first place.
3. Prevent water damage
Water is the #1 enemy of any chimney. When water gets into a chimney system, it can cause a wide range of damage from warping a metal chimney liner to compromising the structural integrity of the chimney due to deteriorating masonry. During your annual chimney inspection, a professional chimney sweep will look for signs of water intrusion and damage. Catching a problem early could save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs.
4. Remove residue and buildup
Smoke residue, particulates from deteriorating ceramic logs, and dust can all buildup inside of a gas chimney. This residue and buildup can eventually restrict airflow or cause your fireplace to smell. Certified chimney sweeps have the necessary tools and cleaning solutions to safely clean out this residue and buildup so that your fireplace continues to operate correctly. They can also remove dust and debris from inside fireplace components, reducing the risk of a malfunction.
5. Catch and replace damaged or deteriorating components
Even though ceramic logs are designed to withstand the high temperatures of the flames, they do wear out over time. Internal fireplace components can also become damaged from regular wear and tear. Glass fireplace doors can become a risk if they get scratched or chipped. You might not notice any of these issues, but a professional chimney sweep has a trained eye to catch these signs of damage and deterioration. They will let you know if any of your fireplace’s components should be repaired or replaced.
Any heating appliance can become a hazard if it is not maintained properly. Scheduling a chimney inspection and cleaning once a year is a simple way to protect your home and make sure that your gas fireplace stays in good condition. The team at Chimney Solutions is here to help you! Our CSIA certified chimney technicians serve residents throughout the greater Atlanta, GA area.