Regular chimney sweeps are important in maintaining the safety of your home. A chimney sweep will clean your chimney by removing soot, blockages, and creosote buildup among other things. If you are not sure whether you need to call a professional for a chimney cleaning or not, here are some questions to ask yourself first.
Has your chimney been cleaned in the past year?
If a chimney is present in your home, whether you use it regularly or not at all, you should call a chimney sweep for an annual inspection. If you plan on using it in the coming fall and winter months, it is really important to have an inspection beforehand to ensure it is safe to use. However, even if you do not use your chimney regularly or ever, it can also be impacted by the outside elements, such as snow, which can make the chimney unsafe to the surrounding areas of the home.
Do you have a chimney cap or chase cover?
Chimney caps (for masonry chimneys) and chase covers (for prefabricated chimneys) have important functions on chimneys. For instance, they keep out rainwater, which can damage the chimney. They also protect the flue from debris and animals.
Is your chimney masonry stained or crumbling?
Efflorescence, or a build up of white discoloration, on masonry is a sign that there is a buildup of moisture inside the masonry. This moisture can cause the chimney to rapidly deteriorate. As cracks appear in the brick or concrete, more moisture can seep into the masonry and cause further damage. Moisture can also seep into other areas surrounding the chimney and lead to bigger problems with your homes foundation if not dealt with.
Does a smell come from your chimney or leak into your home?
If a chimney is properly drafted, it should not smell. This is a sign that the chimney needs sweeping or that a drafting problem exists.
Did you recently purchase your home or upgrade/change the heating systems?
A chimney inspection will make sure that your chimney, lining, and venting systems are properly connected and fitted. If you recently purchased your home, do not use the chimney until it has been cleaned and inspected to avoid a fire or prevent other damage from occurring.
Resources: Clean Sweeps, Smoke Signals
Read for More Information:
Cleaning Creosote from Your Chimney
Does Your Chimney Liner Need Replacing
Chimney Masonry Problems That Could Jeopardize Safety
Wells & Sons Chimney Service offers a full range of chimney cleaning and repair services to the Chester County, Berks County, and Montgomery County, PA areas. Chimney cleaning services include levels 1 thru 3 chimney inspections and chimney sweeps using a high-velocity ROVAC vacuum.