For your safety and to ensure that your chimney retains its efficiency for long you should regularly sweep it. Sweeping removes creosote which is a thick coating that is very flammable.
The chimney sweep company you hire should clean both the inside and outside of the chimney. The cleaning frequency varies depending on the use of the chimney and the fuel that you use. The national fire protection association recommends that you follow these guidelines:
- Wood burning fireplace-4 times a year
- Coal and smokeless fuel-2 times a year
- Gas-once a year
To have ideal results you should hire a company with the right cleaning tools. Before you hire the chimney sweep you should look at the cleaning tools and ensure that they are of high quality and in good working condition.
If you have stayed for a long time without cleaning the chimney and there is a lot of creosote build-up, the company should have the necessary chemicals to loosen the deposits.
In addition to the company having the right tools, it should also be certified to work in your local area. If your state doesn’t certify chimney sweeps, the professionals should be certified by the Chimney Safety Institute Of America.
Best time to clean the chimney
Even if your chimney may be dirty you shouldn’t rush to hire a chimney contractor—you should wait for the right time. The best time to clean the fireplace is at the beginning of autumn. During this time the soot will have dried during summer thus hard and brittle.
If a lot of creosote has built up and you can’t wait for the season, you should wait until you have lit fire for a number of days. The fire will harden the creosote making it easy for the chimney cleaning contractors to undertake chimney cleaning.
During the cleaning process the chimney contractor should inspect the chimney and identify any areas that might need repair. Common repair areas are: loose bricks and mortar, chimney cap, damper and chimney liner.
To save money and time you should hire a professional with both chimney cleaning and chimney repair skills. If you have a brick chimney, the professional should have chimney brick repair skills.
Chimney cleaning not only keeps your fireplace looking great, it also gets rid of dangerous products such as carbon monoxide. By hiring an experienced professional you are guaranteed of getting perfect results.
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