When Last Did You Clean Your Chimney? 3 Signs You Should Clean It Now

Posted on: 20 July 2021

The chimney is an integral part of the house heating system. It is the part of the fireplace which brings in the oxygen and also expels the smoke outside. However, the chimney needs constant care and maintenance for it to be reliable and efficient. Chimney cleaning is a maintenance practice with many benefits, especially if it's done regularly. You shouldn't neglect chimney maintenance because many home fires originate there. 

If you frequently burn wood in your fireplace, a lot of soot and creosote will form in your chimney within a short time. When these two accumulate, they make the lining of the chimney extremely flammable. A spark can ignite the entire chimney and even damage your home. Here are three signs that you need chimney service professionals to clean your chimney.

You Have Hard Time Starting or Maintaining a Fire

Fire needs air to burn. Adequate airflow inside your chimney is what allows the fire to keep burning for hours. However, you will know the airflow balance is out of whack when your fire keeps going out each time you try to start it. You can check for a clogged chimney by simply assessing the condition of the damper. Check whether the damper is open and use it to access the top of the chimney. If the damper is open and nothing is blocking the top of the chimney, it is time to consider cleaning it. By cleaning the chimney, you unclog the system and restore airflow.

When Smoke Keeps Backing Up Into the House

When the chimney is dirty, smoke from burning firewood won't have an escape route out of the house. As a result, it backs up into the house and fills the room any time you light a fire. In some cases, you might not experience the smoke backing up. Instead, you will notice unusual smells when the fireplace gets lit. Your fireplace should produce a pleasant smell when properly ventilated. The presence of charred and burning smells indicates you have too much creosote in the system, which needs to be cleaned or removed.

When the Walls Have Grease Spots

Greasy spots are another indication that your chimney needs a sweeping. The stickiness comes from creosote deposits on the walls of the fireplace. It is, therefore, advisable to check for black and sticky smudges from time to time. The dry black smudges usually come from soot buildup on the walls, but regular chimney servicing can help minimize or even avoid them.

Chimney cleaning or sweeping is a complex job that should be handled with a lot of care. Hire a professional in chimney services to sweep the chimney for you because doing it yourself might be risky and dangerous.