Like anything else, if a chimney is not properly cleaned or maintained its functionality gets compromised, hence the importance of a proper chimney cleaning to reduce the risk of a chimney fire and protect your family.
It is important to know chimney fires happen every year because most homeowners don’t realize how important their fireplaces and chimneys are!
Fireplaces are a great source of heat for those cold winter nights. And you are playing with fire. Chimney fires are caused by many different reasons.
The number one reason is Glaze Creosote. Glaze Creosote is a waxy, sticky build-up that covers the flue, smoke shelf, and in some cases wood stoves. When that build-up is found it takes several different treatments to eliminate the glaze creosote.
That is why it is important to get your chimney cleaned and inspected every year.
But, before deep-diving into the importance of chimney cleaning, it’s important to understand the dangers of Creosote.
What is Creosote?
Creosote is a mixture of hundreds of chemicals; in the chimney business, we refer to wood creosote created by burning wood inside your firebox.
A product of burning wood and coal, the creosote buildup in the chimney is the main cause of chimney fires.
This build-up might ignite when the fire is burning in your fireplace, it might go undetected from inside the house but it might also cause a full-blown house fire.
You might have a fire in your chimney and not be aware of it until it’s too late.
Safe Chimney cleaning offers annual chimney cleaning also known as chimney sweep which will remove the dangerous levels of creosote buildup in the chimney.
You can reduce the risk by inspecting and cleaning your chimney every season.
Why to Clean a Chimney?
If we closely gaze into a chimney, while we burn the wood, many times the residue is collected on the side walls. This residue is commonly known as creosote.
This creosote is nothing but a collection of unburned or semi-burned wood particles that get collected on the side inner walls of the chimney, which not only reduces the space for the fresh smoke to pass through the chimney but also poses a lot of danger of catching fire in case it grows immensely in volume; there could also be a blast in the chimney which could cause a threat to the human life as well.
So whenever you think of cleaning your chimney, always have a look into it; it’s always good to allot an annual inspection of the chimney, which not only helps you to keep it clean but also renders your home safe from any major miss-haps.
In case you have decided to clean the chimney yourself.
Always have full protective gear with you when you try to clean it; right from gloves to eye protection, everything must be taken care of.
As the chimney is narrow somewhere, never try to reach the spot with additional sticks or jacks as it will only harm the chimney. Also, this would not aid in cleaning it completely either.
While cleaning a chimney always use a chemical which is used to remove the creosote and is effective on it, as without it, removing creosote is not at all possible. Also make sure to use good and known chemicals, specially made for chimney cleaning.
If you use any chemical and by chance it reacts with creosote in a harmful way, lethal gases may wreck your house and your health too.
So, it becomes a necessity to clean your house’s chimney, not only for yourself but for the safety of your housemates and family members too.
Top 4 Reasons to Clean Your Chimney Regularly
- If you don’t clean your chimney regularly, you’re at a higher risk for a fire. Soot that builds up inside the chimney may catch on fire if it’s allowed to become thick enough.
- Because soot build-up acts as a drag on the upward airflow inside your chimney, the smoke will begin to exit through the front of your fireplace or stove and then up the chimney. This may result in smoke damage to your home.
- If you do not clean your chimney regularly, the heat from a fire can cause the soot and tar to become a glaze inside it. When this happens, the chimney is much harder to clean. This often leads to damaged liners that may need replacement. Spending money on regular maintenance now can save you a lot of money later.
- Having your chimney regularly swept and inspected will also ensure no birds or rodents have made a home in your chimney. This not only creates a big mess but can also affect your fireplace’s efficiency.
A sooty or grimy chimney is unable to effectively filter the fumes created by an electric, gas, or real fire and they can become trapped in your chimney space. This smoke is highly toxic and dangerous to inhale and it can cause serious dirt and stains inside your home.
What can happen if you don’t clean your chimney in time?
Over time, the dirt in the chimney’s interior will begin to erode and diminish the cohesiveness of the masonry work. This can cause the chimney to loosen and eventually collapse, with disastrous, costly, and potentially fatal effects.
Call us now to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive chimney cleaning service. We possess the requisite tools, cleaning agents, and experience to carry out this essential process to the highest industry standards at the best prices available anywhere in Seattle, WA. With us, you will get a great quality and lasting clean.
Also, the team at Safe Chimney can accommodate you with large and industrial-scale cleaning jobs on a variety of other filtration units including stoves, ovens, fireplaces, vents, and boilers. All of these functions are carried out with equivalent proficiency and expertise.
Top 4 Signs That Your Chimney Needs Cleaning
- Does Your Fire Start Too Slowly?
Have you noticed that your fires take a long time to start, or are they not burning very brightly once they do?
- Is Smoke Filling Your Room?
Does smoke fill the entire room when you have a fire lit?
- Is Smoke Filling Your House?
When a door is open while you have a fire burning, does smoke fill your entire house anyway?
- Do You Detect Cold Air or Bad Odors?
When your stove or fireplace isn’t in use, do you ever feel a rush of cold air or encounter bad odors coming out of your chimney?
Here are tips for a safe winter season with your chimney!
- What type of wood are you using?
You always want to burn with wood that is “seasoned”. That type of wood should have less than 25% moisture. If you burn with wood that has more than 25% moisture then it could cause steam which cools the inside of your chimney or stove pipe.
Creosote forms when you mix steam with exhaust gas which turns into a dry waxy build-up in your chimney and can become a potentially dangerous combo.
- Before you have your first fire of the year, remember to get your chimney cleaned and inspected.
Chimney Cleaning should be done by a chimney professional because they have the knowledge and skill to help prevent glaze creosote and many other issues from arising.
As for your chimney inspection that should be done by a professional too because they can see any potential problems and can give you solutions to fix the problems. Keep in mind that your chimney is surrounded by combustibles.
- Burn at a consistent 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Burning at that temperature will burn the moisture and the gases that create glaze creosote before it hits your chimney.
Chimney safety is very important. Inside your chimney creosote builds up from every fire that you burn. After a while, that creosote can build up so much that it can catch fire inside that chimney. If that happens, your whole house can burn down.
To prevent chimney fires, have your chimney cleaned professionally every year. In addition to cleaning out the creosote, your chimney sweep will inspect your fireplace and chimney for safety concerns. Be sure to always hire a certified chimney sweep.
Certified chimney sweeps have been properly trained to take good care of your chimney. Don’t take chances with your home—hire a certified chimney sweep such as Safe Chimney.