Your wood-burning fireplace is probably one of the coziest areas in your home. But to ensure that it remains a safe and comfortable space, you have to clean and maintain it properly on a regular basis. A poorly maintained chimney will likely give your interior a sooty smell, and it can also create a fire hazard in your lovely home.
To give you more information about the importance of chimney cleaning, Batts’ Chimney Services answers some frequently asked questions below.
What Makes My Chimney Dirty?
It’s good to have an understanding of how dirt and debris can accumulate in your chimney. One of the first things that you have to remember is that wood fires don’t burn cleanly. During a wood-burning session in your fireplace, the wood releases various contaminants that stick to the inside of your chimney. Creosote is an oily, black substance that is a common byproduct of wood-burning fires. It is typically a result of gases that have not fully combusted. It will remain on the inside of your chimney until it is removed. Creosote buildup can happen more quickly if you burn green or unseasoned wood. Apart from creosote, winds and other elements may also deposit various debris into your chimney, such leaves and twigs. This often happens if the chimney does not have a flue cap.
When Should I Have My Chimney Cleaned?
Ideally, you would want to have your chimney cleaned no later than early fall. And if you want to avoid the peak season for chimney cleaning services, you should call in a chimney sweep as early as summer.
You can also have your chimney cleaned when you observe any of these conditions:
- Soot and creosote fall into the firebox during a fire
- Creosote is more than 1/4 inch thick
- You use your fireplace often
- You burn many artificial logs
What’s the Best Way to Clean My Chimney?
It’s always best to call in a professional to do this job. But it also helps to have a general idea of the proper ways of cleaning your chimney. Here are some tips to take note of:
- Before starting the actual cleaning, make sure to seal up your fireplace against debris. You can use sheet plastic for this.
- Use a cordless drill to turn out the screws on chimney caps. Ensure that the caps are placed away from you so that you can avoid tripping over them.
- Scrub the chimney from the top and slowly work your way downwards.
- Wait about 10 minutes for dust and debris to settle. Then, carefully remove the plastic that you used to cover up the firebox opening.
Batts’ Chimney Services is a family-owned and operated business with several years of experience in providing chimney services. Our expertise covers chimney repair, cleaning, inspection and more. Call us at (205) 956-8207 (Jefferson County) or (256) 660-1338 (Northeast Alabama). You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.