chimney cleaning

chimney cleaningBetween December 2016 and January 2017, Portland, Oregon, had arguably one of the harshest winters of the year among cities in the US.

During this period, the city experienced five winter storms over a five-week period. These storms had many people struggling to deal with the freezing temperatures.

A fireplace provides one of the best ways to stay warm when temperatures plummet. But without proper chimney cleaning, you put yourself and your property at risk. In fact, unclean chimneys contribute to nearly one-third of all home heating fires.

Keep reading to learn what you can do to keep your chimney clean and enjoy a warm winter!

Pre Chimney Cleaning Inspection

It’s important to look for any signs of damage while inspecting your chimney.

When it comes to the outside of the chimney, keep an eye out for cracked mortar and loose bricks. These can cause water penetration, which damages the flue liner.

Also, make sure your chimney damper works properly. Over time, heat causes the steel to bend, allowing cold air to sneak into your home.

Before cleaning, shine a light into your chimney and look for black or brown buildup along the sides. However, avoid putting your head near the chimney without eyewear and respiratory protection.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends getting your chimney inspected annually.

Cleaning Your Chimney

If you use your fireplace often, you’ll most likely notice plenty of buildup. Known as creosote, this buildup accumulates regardless of what type of wood you use. Over time, it can cause serious blockages, and it’s also extremely combustible.

You can use a brush or a shop vac to get the creosote off the sides.

If you rarely use your chimney, don’t assume you can avoid cleaning. Certain animals may build nests inside. Furthermore, previous homeowners may have avoided cleaning too.

There are many benefits of proper chimney cleaning. These include reduced chances of carbon monoxide poisoning, fewer repairs, and better heating.

Cleaning on Your Own vs Leaving It to Professionals

While chimney cleaning on your own won’t cost much upfront, you may end up with more expenses if your chimney fails. Therefore, if you never cleaned your chimney before, you might be better off hiring a professional.

First, professionals deal with all sorts of chimney issues on the regular basis. As a result, they’re capable of adapting to any situation. Additionally, this knowledge allows them to spot subtle signs of trouble and help you avoid future problems.

Professionals also have the tools necessary for the job. You don’t have to worry about damaging your home or getting injured in the process.

Final Thoughts on Chimney Cleaning

A professional chimney inspection provides a peace of mind during winter.

When choosing between specialists, make sure to check the Better Business Bureau website. There, you can find any complaints filed against the company as well as information about how long the company has been in business. This will help you avoid any scammers.

Before the chimney sweep, specialists show up to your house, clear your mantel and hearth. Also, feel free to prepare a list of questions you want to ask.

Keep you and your family safe and warm by getting your free chimney cleaning estimate today!

Recommended Posts