As a homeowner, there are many chores that need to be done to keep your house in shape; some things need to be taken care of weekly, monthly, and yearly. One of those yearly tasks is your fireplace. It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to build a nice warm fire, sit down and just relax.
While summer is still beckoning you to be outside is the perfect time to have your chimney cleaned. Those cool crisp autumn nights and cold winter days are approaching fast and will be here before you know it. Here are 5 good reasons on why you should consider getting your chimney cleaned before lighting that first fire.
Help Prevent a Chimney Fire
I can speak for everyone here and say that nobody wants a chimney fire. Chimney fires do not really burn and show visibility like a house fire does. Sure they can be loud with popping and cracking sounds while also having a lot of dense smoke and a strong hot odor. If you happen to be away from your fire- maybe cooking or cleaning, you probably won’t even know that you have a chimney fire and neither will your neighbors. Your neighbors won’t always see it either amd be able to alert you or the authorities because they can burn slow. Even though the fires may not be visible while burning slow, they are still reaching very high temperatures and seeping into your walls. When those flames come into contact with flammable material, the fire can quickly spread farther into your home.
So you’re sitting and relaxing by your nice warm fire after a long day at work, when you notice an awful smell- what’s that smell? Well that smell can be a number of reasons including:
- Excess Creosote and Soot: Not everyone knows that there are 3 stages of creosote. Stage 1 is a flaky soot that you can brush away easily. Stage 2 contains black flakes that are hard, which actually contain hardened tar and also appear to be shiny – not acts easy to remove. The 3rd and last stage is very hard to get clean. In fact this stage is a very high concentrated fuel that looks like tar dripping down your chimney walls. As it hardened it gets very thick and just continues to get recorded over and over. This is when your chimney can catch fire.
- Moisture: Moisture in a chimney is like moisture in a closed washing machine – it provides an unpleasant musty odor. The moisture mixed with creosote will cause that smell and can possibly damage the flue lining. Decomposed fallen leaves will also leave an awful smell when they become wet.
- Animals: Animals like to go into places and have no idea what the risks are, so they continue going where they are headed. What those animals don’t realize is that when they go down into that deep dark hole, they more than likely won’t be coming back out. Once they get stuck they start releasing scat and then eventually start decomposing.
There are many homeowners that like to decorate their home nicely and what they don’t want is for their decor to become ruined by smoke. smoke damage will likely occur to any decorations, carpet and furniture that are nearby your hearth after it gets covered in black soot. This will happen when a chimney is not cleaned regularly.
There are many deaths caused by dirty chimneys. When a chimney is not cleaned regularly and becomes blocked, carbon monoxide becomes produced. You may not realize that you have been exposed by this dangerous gas because it resembles flu like symptoms. You will start getting sick with headaches, dizziness and nausea; we all know that is not fun!
Some folks may consider cleaning their own chimney and avoid the costs of a chimney sweep. They think it won’t be that hard and they decide to go ahead and go for it. When in reality it’s a tough and extremely dirty job, when you don’t have the correct tools and clothing. Who wants to ruin their clothes with dirty black creosote and soot?
The chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA Certified and we have years of experience under our belts. We strive to continue our education as often as possible so we’re always in the position to offer you the best possible chimney services in Drexel Hill and all along the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to discuss your chimney needs or to schedule an appointment for a chimney cleaning, chimney inspection, or chimney repair.