Lighting a fire in the middle of winter is one of the best ways to warm up. However, there are safety measures that must be taken every year before a fireplace is put to use. A certified chimney sweep should be called to inspect your chimney annually to make sure it is in proper working order. When they visit your home, a chimney sweep has two primary focuses when cleaning your chimney.
Finding a bird or raccoon is not an uncommon experience for homeowners with chimneys. When animals build nests or get trapped inside your chimney, they can cause health risks, ventilation problems, and unpleasant odors. These problems are especially true if the animal gets trapped and then eventually dies. A chimney sweep can remove the animal and help you out with prevention methods, such as chimney caps, for the future.
Creosote is the natural byproduct of burning wood in a fireplace. It is the main concern of any chimney, and if enough is allowed to build up, it could ignite and catch fire. If creosote reaches what is considered Level 3, it becomes incredibly difficult to remove.
When a chimney sweep is called to your home, this is their number one priority when cleaning out your chimney. If the creosote has reached a Level 3, it will require special cleaning techniques and most likely chemicals to make your chimney no longer a fire hazard.