Getting your fireplace and chimney ready for another winter season involves making sure it’s clean and that the structure and components are all in good shape. For chimneys connected to wood-burning fireplaces and inserts, chimney sweeping is a necessary maintenance task that’s just as important as seeing to any minor repairs that might be needed.
Things are slower in the spring and summer
Chimney sweeps tend to get busy once the cold weather hits. For some reason, that’s the time most people start thinking about what they need to do to get their chimney ready for winter. By scheduling your annual chimney cleaning visit before the weather turns, you have a much better chance of getting your technician to your home at a time that’s convenient for you.
Milder weather is better for certain chimney repairs
Chimney repair work that involves a mortar mixture will be more effective before outside temperatures get seriously cold. This work includes tuckpointing, chimney crown rebuilding, smoke chamber parging, and other select tasks.
Traffic inside your house
Chimney cleaning, damper replacement, fireplace insert installations, firebox repair, and certain other jobs require the technician to access the interior of your home. This foot traffic is less problematic during mild weather than during sloppy, snowy weather.
Safer for the technician
Finally, nice weather makes the outside jobs of repair, component installation, and inspection simpler and safer for your chimney technician.
Why your chimney should be swept once a year
No matter when you’re able to arrange for service, your chimney flue should be professionally cleaned once a year to prevent chimney fires and drafting problems.
CSIA-certified chimney sweeps perform two primary jobs:
Creosote removal: Excess creosote is a chimney fire waiting to happen. Creosote is highly flammable and increases in amount every time you burn wood in your fireplace.
Most fire-safety agencies and chimney-safety organizations in the United States recommend annual chimney sweeping for chimneys that vent wood-burning appliances. The majority of chimney fires are started by creosote, so a yearly visit from a trained chimney sweep is the best way to prevent one of these destructive events.
Obstruction removal: Debris such as falling leaves and twigs as well as the nests of small animals like squirrels and birds can cause drafting obstructions in chimneys. When airflow is restricted, smoke can back up into your home.
Worse than smoke, however, is the carbon monoxide it contains. This gas is invisible and odorless, but it has been shown to be poisonous and potentially fatal to humans and animals. (Note that if your chimney has no chimney cap or flue cover, installing one of these devices will keep debris out of your chimney.)
The best recipe for a safe and reliable chimney
Keeping your chimney running safely and optimally isn’t hard when you remember to schedule your chimney sweep visits, inspections, and repair work early before winter really digs in. By hiring a company that holds certifications through the Chimney Safety Institute of America, you know the work will be done by highly trained and experienced technicians who care about you and your home.
Is it time to get your chimney cleaned and inspected? High’s Chimney Service of Gaithersburg, MD, provides certified chimney sweep, chimney inspection, and chimney repair services that you can count on. Reach us at (301) 519-3500 with questions or to schedule an appointment.