Environmental Chimney Sweep Inc.

How Do I Know If I Should Hire a Chimney Sweep?


Chimneys typically look lovely and appealing, and that’s to be expected, so how do we know if we really need to hire a chimney sweep. A chimney sweep needs to be hired before your chimney actually begins deteriorating and incurring structural damage. This will save you money in the long run. It is important to keep your chimney clean and up to date. Just like any mold, dust, and mildew can be harmful to you and your family, chimneys can hold many dangers that can be hazardous to your health.

Attempting to clean your own chimney is not an easy task to try to tackle yourself, and could even cause the problems to worsen. Fires are unpredictable, and just the slightest wrong move can put your fireplace and chimney in danger of being more susceptible to a future fire.

Wood burning stoves will most likely need a professional chimney sweep to remove natural build up, especially from woods such as pine, that contain higher amounts of moisture. Most soot from wood-burning stoves will need to be removed with a wire brush and possibly even chemicals. If this is not taken care of professionally, it can cause much build-up and can be a major cause of chimney fires.

Depending on the climate you live in and the amount your stove is used, your cleaning schedule will vary. If you are using your stove often, it may need up to four cleanings throughout the winter months. But some may be fine to clean once a year, commonly in the late spring or summer. Schedule as early as possible, as a booking can take several weeks to a month.

Many problems can occur that a chimney sweep will have solutions for. Any obvious damage to the structure can be dangerous, including cracked or missing tiles or bricks, and even deteriorating mortar. The smallest crack can be dangerous, allowing water or even flames to escape. Flames or chunks escaping out of your chimney can set your house on fire. Animals, including birds and their nests, squirrels, and snakes can take shelter in your chimney during the off season. There are chimney caps available if this is a problem in your area. The cap can keep out animals and even moisture from the wet and rainy seasons.

Unfortunately even prior installations may have not been done correctly, and can continue damaging your chimney if not checked regularly.

Beyond regularly cleaning out your common ashes and soot in your fireplace, there really isn’t much you can do, without professional tools and equipment. Don’t ever put yourself in harms way just to save a penny.

Fireplaces and chimneys are not to be messed with. Your family is worth the price. A chimney sweep should be scheduled yearly, at least. Feel free to ask about your options. You do not always need a repair, many times only a cleaning is needed, and can keep you from so many troubles in the future. A clean and safe chimney will always lead to happiness!

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National Chimney Sweeps Guild Chimney Safety Institute of America