How to Know When to Clean Your Chimney
Keeping your chimney clean and free of a creosote buildup is a safety feature. Chimney fires devastate homes. They often start in the smoke chamber shelf area, which is a critical though hard-to-reach area. If you can reach it with room to use a brush, and your soot buildup is on the light side, you may want to try and clean your chimney yourself.
When there is a heavy creosote buildup, it’s best to call the professionals like those at Complete Chimneys. It’s also best to use the pros if you have a steep roof pitch or aren’t completely comfortable on the roof. There’s a reason why pros always wear safety harnesses.
Creosote expands when it burns. In mere minutes it can engulf a chimney and destroy a building with high heat temperatures. Your chimney should be inspected regularly–at least once a year–by a certified chimney sweep that is trained to locate areas of deterioration, creosote buildups, and venting issues. All of the following signs are indications that it’s time to have your chimney cleaned or inspected:
- Moisture bubbling at the end of wet (green) logs as they burn.
- Use your fireplace poker along your chimney liner. If you find a layer of buildup as thick as a nickel contact a chimney sweep.
- If the buildup has become a hardened layer of buildup.
Visit CompleChimneys.com, leading chimney contractors in Baltimore, MD, to find out more about the comprehensive chimney services we offer. Call (410) 544-7600 for more information.
How to Tell If Your Chimney Needs Cleaning
Chimneys are often neglected due to the perception that they’re not necessary, but in reality, a dirty chimney can lead to dangerous gasses buildup and damage to your home. At this point, you need to look if your chimney needs sweeping as the professional sweep will take care of all cleaning needs.
However, it has been noticed that homeowners do not take it seriously when it comes to the cleaning of chimneys and fireplace maintenance. However, if the water rises above the sea, loose ends towards the chimney cleaning can get dangerous.
Chimney sweeping and cleaning needs to be done once in a year, and such maintenance can help your chimney run more than a decade with efficient performance. Homeowners can consider chimney sweeping done on a more regular basis most probably like once or twice in a year.
Do you need to have your chimney swept? If so, how do you know if it’s time?
This article will walk you through the different ways to tell if your chimney needs sweeping. So let’s find them out.
10 Signs That Your Chimney Needs Sweeping
Since the winters are already here, it is an ideal time to get the chimney sweeping done so you could enjoy an amazing winter with your family. Below are some of the signs indicating that your chimney needs urgent sweeping.
- Increased Smoke From the Fireplace
- Poorly Burning Flames & Strange Smell
- Creosote/Debris Build Up
- Cracked Bricks & Broken Fireplace
- Smoke Doesn’t Rise Up In the Chimney
- Moisture & Water Damage Inside Or Near Chimney
- Fall of Dirty Ash From the Chimney
- Fire Taking Too Long to Start
- Doubtful Presence of Animals
- Oily Spots/Patches on Walls
We will now dive deep into the top signs indicating that your chimney needs an urgent sweeping and cleaning service from professional cleaners.
Sign# 1: Increased Smoke From the Fireplace
Have you recently observed increased smoke in your home as the air doesn’t feel as fresh as it should? If yes, then the problem may lie in the chimney area.
Since creosote is a natural bi-product that gathers up due to the consistent burning of fire in the fireplace, it may be acting as an obstacle and won’t be allowing smoke to exit through the chimney. This increased smoke is indicating that your chimney needs a good repair service.
Sign# 2: Poorly Burning Flames & Strange Smell
If the flames in the fireplace are burning poorly and blow out in a couple of minutes then it shows the creosote build up inside the duct of the chimney. There must be a large build up of creosote inside the chimney ducts which would ultimately act as a barrier for flames burning.
Also, if you notice an increased smell of smoke or strange odor near the fireplace area then it is another sign of poorly functioning chimney.
Sign# 3: Creosote/Debris Build Up
If the creosote or debris is building inside the chimney then it may not allow the smoke to vent out properly. This is where we know that the chimney duct and damper has lots of black creosote build up affecting the performance of chimney and fireplace.
Sign# 4: Cracked Bricks & Broken Fireplace
Are the bricks of your chimney cracked and the fireplace is broken? If yes, then it is another sign that your chimney ultimately needs a proper cleaning and repairing service.
Chimney sweep professionals will fix the broken bricks and masonry chimney with the new ones which will help you in the long run. For this purpose, the chimney inspectors will thoroughly check your chimney and fireplace from all angles.
Sign# 5: Smoke Doesn’t Rise Up In the Chimney
We all have seen that when we burn the flames inside the fireplace, they rise up inside the chimney. However, if your chimney is not functioning properly then you will notice the smoke coming out from the fireplace window.
This is another indication that your chimney needs proper cleaning and sweeping from the inside as the layer of black creosote may be affecting its performance.
Sign# 6: Moisture & Water Damage Inside Or Near Chimney
Another sign that your chimney needs proper cleaning and sweeping is the appearance of leaks and water damages around the chimney or fireplace. For this purpose, you must keep an eye on the surrounding walls.
If you notice a moisture leakage nearby the fireplace then call the chimney sweepers without running late– as this could damage the whole chimney duct and can be extremely hazardous.
Sign# 7: Fall of Dirty Ash From the Chimney
Have you recently noticed chimney soot falling from the inside of chimney? If yes, then take it as another sign of urgent chimney sweeping before the winters.
Soot or creosote falling from the inside of the chimney in your fireplace indicates that the duct of the chimney has been massively built up with the debris. This is where you should clearly get the sign of cleaning your chimney.
Sign# 8: Fire Taking Too Long to Start
Fires need oxygen but a dirty and highly creosote buildup inside the chimney can make it hard for your fireplace to get the air it needs to get going.
If the flames of fire are taking so long to start and you cannot ignite them with any proper method, then it indicates a dirty chimney which you should get clean.
Sign# 9: Doubtful Presence of Animals
Animal nests can also block the ventilation within the chimney and catch fire if the wood is burning in your fireplace. Bird nests are usually found at the top of the chimney covering the vents so they could be the reason for the dirty and clogged chimney.
Apart from birds, squirrels and mice are also fond of chimney ducts and fireplaces so you may have to deal with their presence. You can call the chimney specialists to check it for you.
Sign# 10: Oily Spots/Patches on Walls
Are you noticing black or dark brown spots on the walls near your fireplace? Or are there any patches that look oily over the wall? If yes, then it is indicating the problem in your chimney.
Because of the build of oily substance inside your chimney, there might be some hindrance for the airflow. It can eventually cause the fire to take longer to burn.
Book an Appointment With Complete Chimney Sweeps for Certified Cleaning
Are you seeing any of the aforementioned signs while using your fireplace? If yes, then you definitely need chimney sweep and cleaning. And for this purpose, look no further than Complete Chimney Sweeps. You can contact our chimney sweepers and inspectors by calling at 410-544-7600, or schedule an appointment.