When it starts turning cold, people start firing up their fireplaces. Even if it’s just a little chilly outside, nothing beats a beautiful fireplace to take the edge off and create a lovely ambience. The only thing that could hinder this enjoyment is if your chimney and fireplace aren’t safe to use.
For this reason, it’s always a good idea to schedule chimney inspection and chimney sweep services before it’s time to start using your fireplace regularly.
Virtually every fire-protection agency in the U.S. recommends annual chimney cleaning to remove any obstructions and built-up creosote that might be in the flue. Obstructions such as leaves, twigs and other tree debris as well as small-animal nests can hinder the flow of smoke and cause toxic gasses to back up into the home.
Creosote is a highly flammable substance that is created during the combustion of wood. It can be sticky, flakey or solid – but all forms are dangerous. Certified chimney sweeps use specialized tools and techniques to remove creosote and lessen the chances of a chimney fire.
Chimney inspections are important because they can uncover early signs of water damage, component issues or problems with the masonry and initiate repairs right away. Leaving problem areas in your chimney alone is asking for trouble down the line, when what had been a simple repair job has turned into a complicated and expensive project.
For some reason, many people tend to wait until the last minute to have their fireplaces and chimneys cleaned and inspected. If this is your practice, you may regularly find yourself caught in the rush of last-minute service requests. Avoid this hassle by scheduling chimney work in the warmer months.
Another reason for this is, your chimney technician may find areas of damage that will need to be repaired before you can safely use your fireplace again. By scheduling cleaning and inspection prior to the arrival of the cold season, you’ll give yourself a little flexibility on when you want to have the repair work done – in other words, it’s not something you’ll have to do immediately so you can start firing up your fireplace.
Your certified chimney sweep will do the following and probably more during a cleaning and inspection visit.
· Inspect the flue for obstructions and creosote, then remove both
· Examine the state of the chimney masonry, looking for early signs of cracking and decay
· Inspect the chimney cap and chimney crown to make sure both are in good condition to guard your chimney against water damage
· Ensure that the chimney chase top (if you have one) is not eroded and is ready to go another season
· Examine the chimney liner for signs of cracking and fire/water damage
· Check the fireplace damper and top-sealing damper (if there is one) to make sure they open fully and close tightly
If you live in the Atlanta area and want to beat the fall/winter rush, call Chimney Solutions of Alpharetta, GA, at 770-255-1300 and get your chimney and fireplace clean and ready to go for another winter.