Do you use your fireplace on a regular basis? As with most things having to do with your home, some sort of cleaning or maintenance will be will required eventually. You may be wondering, “Should I hire a professional to clean my chimney?”
There are many home maintenance projects that can be handled on a DIY basis, so why not chimney cleaning? It turns out chimney cleaning is one task that is definitely best left to the professionals. Let’s examine the reasons for that.
Why and When a Professional Should Clean Your Chimney
Woodburning creates soot and a substance called creosote, which can build up in the chimney over time. Creosote is a sticky byproduct resulting from incomplete combustion. It is highly flammable and needs to be removed from the surface of your chimney. A fire inside your chimney is very hazardous and can spread quickly.
Another reason that chimneys need to be inspected and cleaned regularly is that obstructions such as bird’s nests or other blockages can form, which would cause smoke from a fireplace fire to flow back into the room, rather than up the chimney. A blockage could also cause a fire to burn inefficiently, causing odorless and toxic carbon monoxide to flow into the room.
How often you need to have your chimney cleaned depends mainly on how often you use it. We recommend (as does the National Fire Protection Association) that you hire a professional Certified Chimney Sweep® to inspect your chimney on an annual basis. The best time of year to do this is in the spring and summer months.
What is Involved in a Chimney Inspection?
First, a chimney inspection is an evaluation of the chimney and venting system in order to determine if it is safe for use. The CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) certified inspector will look for soot/creosote build-up, obstructions, damage, and pests.
If any of those things are found, cleaning will be recommended. A CSIA chimney sweep will also recognize potential hazards and issues that could be problematic and bring them to your attention.
What is Involved When a Professional Cleans My Chimney?
Your Certified Chimney Sweep will clean soot and creosote build-up and remove any blockages from the chimney. The fireplace, firebox, damper, flue, and smoke shelf/smoke chamber will be inspected and cleaned. They may spend time cleaning at both the fireplace and roof level if necessary.
Why is it Best to Hire a Professional to Clean My Chimney?
First of all, a professional chimney cleaner will have the right tools to do the job. They use specialized rods and brushes to remove soot, creosote, and any obstructions. Since creosote is a gummy sticky substance, they may need to use a chemical solution to remove it. Lastly, a HEPA vacuum is used to remove all loosened debris.
Chimney cleaning is a messy business, as you may have gathered from watching old movies set in Victorian times. One of the best reasons to hire a CSIA-trained professional is that they are trained on how to contain the mess and keep it from soiling your home. Take a look at our fascinating video to see our chimney-cleaning pros in action!
Furthermore, a professional chimney cleaner will be fully insured to cover them in case of injury on the job. If you were to try to tackle your chimney cleaning yourself and were injured, you could potentially face significant medical bills.
Cleaning your fireplace may be a task you can handle on a DIY basis, but when it comes to the question “Should I hire a professional to clean my chimney?” the answer is a resounding “yes”. Energy Center-Manhattan Pool is your number one resource for all your hearth and chimney-related questions. Call now to schedule your annual chimney inspection and cleaning.