Home Off Beat Don’t Soak up the Soot: Homeowner’s Guide to How Often Should You Clean Your Chimney

Don’t Soak up the Soot: Homeowner’s Guide to How Often Should You Clean Your Chimney

Clean Your Chimney

Fireplaces are convenient in cold weather but dangers when they’re not maintained. Read this homeowner’s guide to how often should you clean your chimney.

There’s nothing quite as cozy as sitting near a crackling fireplace on a chilly night. However, when you don’t clean your chimney, you could be inviting danger into your home.

Chimneys can increase the value of your home by $5 – 12,000. Failure to maintain a clean chimney has cost homeowners over $120 million annually — or worse, their life.

What can you do to keep you and your family safe? Keep reading to find out how often should you clean your chimney and prevent a disaster before it happens!

1.      Creosote: The Cause of Chimney Fires

Clean Your ChimneyUnderstanding what causes a chimney fire will help you understand why a chimney cleaning is so important. It comes down to one word: creosote.

What’s creosote and how does it cause fires? When you use your fireplace, it creates a tar-like residue that clings to the inside of the chimney walls.

This substance builds up over time. It’s also incredibly flammable.

2.      How Often Should You Clean Your Chimney?

How often should you clean a chimney depends on how much you use it. A good rule of thumb is to have it inspected and cleaned at least once a year.

Other things to look for include:

  • there’s 1/8 inch creosote or sooty buildup inside
  • there’s significant glaze buildup in the flue
  • you burn a lot of wet or chemically treated wood and/or garbage

Whether you use it a lot or a little, it’s important to have our chimney looked at least once a year.

3.      Can You Clean Your Chimney Yourself?

Clean Your ChimneyThe answer is both yes and no. Cleaning your chimney by yourself is a bit complicated.

There are DIY chimney cleaning kits on the market. There’s more to making sure your fireplace is safe to use than these kits can provide, though.

A chimney sweep knows what to look for when it comes to the dangerous buildup of creosote inside your flue. Not only that, they can check for structural safety and if any birds or animals have made their home inside the stack.

4.      When Should You Clean Your Chimney?

Usually, when fall rolls around, you’re ready to light up your fireplace. By that time, it might be too late to have your chimney inspected.

The best time to get it looked at is right when you’re done using it. Spring and summer are the best times, although fall is still OK.

Don’t neglect to have at least an inspection or try to put it off till next year. Better to be safe than sorry!

5.      Stay Safe at Home

Clean Your ChimneyDon’t let a neglected chimney ruin your cozy winter. Get it checked out and thoroughly cleaned at least once a year.

Now that you know how often should you clean your chimney, don’t put it off. It’s not worth waiting another year and letting creosote build-up to perpetually dangerous levels.

Knowing what your home needs is essential to keeping you and your family safe. If you enjoyed reading this, we’ve got a lot more information you can use.

Keep browsing our blog about offbeat tips and tricks to make your home cozy, clean, and safe!

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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