Is inspecting my chimney really that important?
To put it quickly, yes. Having an annual inspection and sweep can prevent or spot many types of chimney damage or blockage as well as any potential blockages or animals in your flue. Here, we will cover a few basic inspection categories and the process behind it.
Types of Inspections
Not every chimney inspection is the same; they vary depending on your needs and the general condition of your chimney. Whether you need an extensive inspection of every part of your fireplace and chimney system or just an annual checkup, our team is here for you. When you schedule an inspection, we’ll work with you to determine how in-depth an inspection you need, based on your chimney and purposes.
If you’re looking to get your annual inspection done and are not planning on making any changes to your chimney system, most likely all you need is a basic inspection. During this inspection, we will make sure the structure of your chimney is sound. We will also make sure your fireplace or appliance is working and correctly and there are no dangerous obstructions in or around your chimney.
This type of inspection does not require any specialized tools. We’ll check the areas of your chimney that are exposed or can be exposed without having to remove panels and doors. However, to check the appliance and its connection to your chimney, we may need to use some basic tools and temporarily remove the panels and doors.
This inspection goes a bit more in-depth into your chimney. We recommend this if you’re changing anything about your chimney systems, such as changes to your flue lining or a change in the appliance connected to your chimney. We also recommend this type of more extensive inspection if you suspect an event, such as a chimney fire, has caused damage to your chimney. Finally, this is the inspection you’re looking for if you need a real estate inspection before selling your home.
This inspection will look over the same aspects as a basic option but may require the use of tools or removing panels and doors to give your chimney and fireplace a more in-depth inspection. We may also use video scanning to inspect the inside of your chimney system.
This is the most extensive inspection we can perform on your chimney but is a last resort because it can be destructive. This type of inspection is only done if there is serious damage to your chimney, or if we realize in a less extensive inspection there are issues that need to be looked at more deeply.
In this inspection, we’ll use any tools necessary to inspect your chimney. We may also have to remove parts of your chimney, like a flue liner or the crown.
The Danger of a Dirty Chimney
A dirty chimney can cause many different problems for your fireplace system and home. As your fireplace or appliance burns fuel, unburned particles go into your chimney and leave creosote. This residue is highly flammable and is the cause of thousands of chimney fires a year. Which not only cause serious structural damage to your chimney but can spread to your home. Creosote builds in three stages, and if it is cleaned early on, it can be easy to remove. However, the longer it is left uncleaned and allowed to build the more dangerous and difficult to remove in becomes.
Along with creosote, soot and ash can build up in your chimney vent. The buildup of these substances is a danger regardless of whether or not they are flammable, as they restrict the airflow of your chimney. One of your chimney’s most important functions is to take the smoke and dangerous gases out of your home. If the airflow is restricted, it’s difficult for these gases to leave and they may remain your home. Smoke lingering in your home is not only bad for your house and can stain and damage it but is dangerous to your health.
Signs you need a chimney cleaning
As a rule of thumb, generally, you should have your chimney cleaned at least once a year. However, there are many factors that can affect this, including the weather, how you use your fireplace, how your appliance is working, and more. For that reason, it’s important not to rely on the once a year rule too heavily. As well as to pay attention to how your chimney is functioning so you know if it needs to be cleaned. Some signs your chimney may need cleaning are:
- You’re having trouble starting a fire in your fireplace. This can be a sign the airflow of your chimney is clogged. If your chimney is connected to another appliance. The same is true if that appliance is not working as efficiently as it used to.
- Smoke won’t leave you home. Again, this can be a sign of a constricted airflow.
- Cold air around your chimney. This can either be a sign of a constricted airflow or there is damage in your chimney that needs to be addressed.
- Soot is dropping into your fireplace. This means there is a buildup of soot on your chimney walls that needs to be swept.
- A bad odor. Different smells can let you know if there is an issue in your chimney. A musty smell may be a sign that water has gotten into your chimney, while a lingering burnt smell can be a sign of creosote.
If you notice any of these signs it’s important to call a chimney sweep even if you had your chimney cleaned recently, so you take care of the problem before it escalates.
What to Expect from a Chimney Cleaning
When we clean your chimney, we want to make sure you feel completely confident we’re doing a thorough job, so you know your home is safe. We’ll go over the process with you before we start, so you know what to expect. With a network of chimney cleaners in over 150 cities in the southeast, our team has the experience and knowledge to give you the best chimney cleaning.
In the southeast looking for a chimney sweep to help you with your chimney? Our team wants to help you, call us at 888-807-9786 today or make an appointment on our online form today.