Signs You Need a Chimney Sweep
Having your chimney cleaned by a certified chimney professional is a serious matter. There are a few signals that will alert you to the time to schedule a cleaning.The four signs you need a chimney sweep are odors, changing
seasons, the quality of your fire, and visual clues.
First, let’s talk about odors
Smells from your chimney can come in several forms.The most common is creosote, which is unburned carbons, a sticky tar-like substance that can be extremely dangerous when allowed to build up. If the smell is acidic or bitter, a layer of creosote buildup may be to blame and may need a creosote treatment to remove it. If you clean on a regular basis, you can save money on not having to do expensive creosote treatments.
Another cause of odor is trapped debris or the presence of animals or insects. When you don’t have a chimney cap installed (or it is damaged), things can find their way into your chimney. They then decompose, make their nest, or block the exit of smoke and gases. These can all lead to odors in your home as well. A certified chimney sweep is the best way to remove the source of the odor.
Change of Seasons
My chimney looks fine from the outside and I haven’t used for a long while, so I can probably skip my chimney cleaning, right? Wrong! Actually an unused chimney can deteriorate faster than one that is used, The moisture that comes from your home is never burned off and begins to soak into the masonry. Ideally, you should schedule a chimney sweep at least once a year whether you use it or not.
In as early as one season, animals can take up residence inside (as we mentioned in the previous section). Other things, like leaves and debris, can be blown in and get stuck, forming a block that you wouldn’t discover until your next fire.
Additionally, if you’ve recently bought your home and don’t know when it was last swept, schedule an appointment for cleaning and a complete inspection. This will give you a starting point of where your fireplace is. Proactive maintenance is a necessary step and scheduling a regular chimney sweep will help ensure you catch potential problems early.
Changes in fire quality
Occasionally, you might notice a change in the quality of your burn. Your fires may burn less efficiently, or you may notice a larger amount of smoke. This could be a draft issue caused by several things but let’s start with the simplest. This issue can be due to a problem with your damper (the piece of your chimney that regulates airflow). Dampers should be open when you’re using your fireplace and closed otherwise. If your damper won’t fully open or fully close, it can lead to a significant decrease in fire quality.
A chimney sweep will be able to identify the source of this problem.
Changes in fire quality can also be caused by too much creosote buildup inside the flue. Creosote is dangerous, both leading to blockages and potential fires. If you’re able to visually see creosote buildup forming, it needs to be removed before continued use of your fireplace.
Schedule a sweep as soon as possible!
Call the Certified Professionals
If you haven’t had your chimney cleaned recently or you have a concern about your chimney and want us to take a look, give the team at Best Cincinnati Chimney a call. They are trained to efficiently clean your chimney and get it ready for the winter while also spotting any potential issues before they have a chance to put your home and family in danger.
Call us at 513-474-1148