Having a fireplace for those cold winter months can really cut back on heat costs and provide a nice centerpiece to any home. Keeping your fireplace cleaned and maintained is very important, though. If your chimney isn’t properly inspected and cleaned, it can be a danger to you and your family. The NFPA says heating elements are the second leading cause of house fires. Build-up of soot in the chimney makes for an easy way to start a fire and not to mention bad news for your lungs.
Hiring a chimney contractor to come do a thorough sweep of your chimney is required if you want to make regular use of your chimney, without the dangers mentioned previously. You can stay on top of things with regular inspections, which prevent having to pay for costly cleaning fees when the soot is really built up. These inspections should be done annually, at the very least. If your chimney is well-maintained, all that is required is a visual inspection with a regular sweep.
If your chimney fails the initial flashlight test and the chimney company determines that the soot build-up is high enough to need more than a simple brush from below, it’s going to cost a bit more for a thorough cleaning, requiring access from the roof. Also, during any cleaning, you will need to schedule a time where the family is outside of the house, as the fumes from loose soot are hazardous to your health. Inspection of the chimney and roof are given before and after cleaning, to determine any structural damage that may need repair.
If it is determine that the structural integrity of your chimney is compromised, then your chimney contractor may advise rebuilding the walls of the chimney. This is typically something that only happens if your house has experienced an earthquake or chimney fire. The costs aren’t quite as high, usually, than, for example, a major roof repair job. Unless, of course, your roof was also affected.
Paying for regular maintenance of your chimney may just seem like yet another fee or bill to pay as a homeowner, but the values of having a chimney can far outweigh the costs. The time it takes to inspect and to do a quick cleaning is only a few hours, which saves you even more time from needing an emergency chimney cleaning after years of neglect.
This post first appeared on https://www.firstclasschimneyservices.com