According to the National Fire Protection Association, dirty chimneys are a leading cause of structure fires, which is why annual chimney inspections are recommended.
If you’re planning on putting your home on the market this fall, a chimney cleaning is one task you can’t afford to ignore.
Those who have recently purchased a home should also take the importance of a yearly chimney cleaning into consideration, and add it to their yearly budget.
Chimneys can get dirty quickly, as creosote—a highly flammable substance—can build up inside your flue lining. There’s also the possibility of animals getting into the chimney and building a nest, something that occurs more frequently than most homeowners would think.
The easiest and most inexpensive way to get the chimney clean is to hire a reputable chimney sweep. They will do a thorough job removing the soot and inspecting the entire chimney to make sure there is no damage. A sweep will also look for leaks and cracks, check out the flashing system and rain cap and look for any foundation problems. All of these items are important when it comes to ensuring that your chimney lasts.
You can also have the chimney capped by having a screen placed on top to keep those pesky animals and debris away. While this is a fairly expensive option, it will make the annual sweep a little easier.
While it’s best to leave the cleaning of the chimney to a professional, something you can do on your own is look at the chimney on the outside and inspect the mortar around the bricks to see if there are any cracks. If there are, these will need to be fixed by a professional, or else the chimney will become a dangerous fire hazard.
If you use your fireplace often, it’s a good idea to close it down once the winter season is over and the warm weather returns. This can be done by removing all the burnt wood and debris and washing any soot that is visible. Use a vacuum cleaner to pick up ashes from around the opening. A professional chimney sweep can also reduce the amount of dirt and odor that will sometimes enter the home after the fireplace has been retired for the season.
Even if you don’t use your fireplace, you should still make sure your chimney is cleaned, as problems come from more than just fires, creating situations that could potentially affect the house—and possibly the sale of your home.
To learn more about chimney cleaning, contact our office today.
Published with permission from RISMedia.