If your fireplace hasn’t been used or cleaned in a while, it’s common for it to be obstructed by soot and other kinds of blockages. The worst part is that you can’t smoke these blockages out by lighting a fire, since this could result in combustion.
The purpose of getting your chimney swept is to keep it clean of obstructions that could turn into a fire hazard when your fireplace is lit. Here’s why you should get your chimney cleaned at least once annually, before the first fire of the year.
Your chimney has creosote build-up
Creosote is a highly flammable substance that starts to build up on the inside of your chimney after lighting firewood. It is a carcinogen that causes the hyperpigmentation of skin upon extended periods of exposure. The build-up of creosote within your chimney allows toxic, poisonous fumes of gases such as carbon monoxide to enter your house. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause an instant fatality.
The higher the sap content of the firewood, the greater the amount of creosote that builds up. Even a minor accumulation of creosote is a fire hazard. It reduces efficiency and could cause explosive chimney fires if your chimney isn’t swept at least once a year, especially if you use your fireplace regularly.
Your chimney could be home to animals and bird nests
If your fireplace has remained unused for a while, debris can build up within the chimney. Chipped masonry and dry leaves could obstruct the pathway of the smoke.
Chimneys that haven’t been used for a long time could also house bird nests. Bird nests are made from twigs, branches, and leaves—in short, all materials that could cause chimney fires if you light your fireplace. You’re likely to end up causing a house fire if you don’t get your chimney swept clean of these obstructions.
Your chimney’s flue lining could have cracks
Flue linings that are constructed using clay tile can crack without warning sometimes. It’s best if you get your clay tile lining replaced with a stainless steel lining. It might be more expensive in the short term, but you’ll save money on repairs.
If your flue lining is cracked, the flames that burn in your fireplace are allowed access to parts of your house that could be combustible and cause a house fire.
A licensed chimney inspector or sweep can check your chimney for cracks and repair or replace the lining immediately.
If you’re looking to get your fireplace repaired or for licensed chimney sweeps in Gainesville, contact Chimney and Dryer Vent Services LLC. We offer comprehensive chimney and fireplace services, as well as dryer vent cleaning in Gainesville.