Everything you need to know about Chimney Cleaning
Once the temperatures drop, there is something so comforting about a cozy fire. The light, the smell, the warmth… Yes, you can just imagine it now. Pair that scene with a glass of wine or hot cup of tea and all the worries of the day start to melt away. While this picture gives us all that fuzzy feeling, the facts about what could be happening in your chimney can also give anyone pause.
If you have a fireplace or wood burning stove, you are likely all too familiar with this term: Creosote. If you’re new to the fire game, creosote is the black or brown stuff that builds up in your chimney. While fireplaces and wood burners are designed to safely contain wood fires, the chimney’s job is to expel the smoke, water vapor, gases, wood particles, hydrocarbon, etc. When you’re burning a fire, these substances exit the hot fire, up the cool chimney. Once these substances come into contact with the cooler chimney, there is condensation. This condensation sticks to the inner walls of the chimney and creates a substance called creosote. Why is creosote dangerous? Creosote is highly combustible. If it builds up too much on the inside of your chimney, this could result in a chimney fire. This build-up could also slow the exit of dangerous fumes and increase the risks of carbon monoxide leaking into the home. Since this silent killer claims thousands of lives a year, creosote build-up is a serious concern for anyone who uses their fireplace.
Now that you know all of the risks, there is no need to panic. Yet. Preparing your home for winter is likely already on your mind and a good chimney cleaning should be added to that list. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) suggests that an annual chimney inspection and cleaning is worth the modest investment. This inspection will not only reduce the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fires, it will also examine your chimneys and venting systems to make sure everything is in working order before cleaning any build-up. When it comes to choosing a chimney sweeping and inspection company, it’s best to choose chimney sweeps that are CSIA Certified as well. Another factor to keep in mind is that unless you are certified, chimney maintenance should not be considered a DIY project. Let’s leave this task up to the professionals with a trained eye.
While these cooler temperatures give us the opportunity to gather around the glow of a warm fire, homeowners should never skimp on fire safety and proper maintenance. All this can be done knowing that when it comes time to sell, you've kept your home safe and have maintained a great focal point in the house for future owners to enjoy. If you’re maintaining your home in hopes to resell, please feel free to contact the team at UHM today to get some additional advice on preparing to sell.
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