Winter is coming fast, and many homeowners are looking forward to cozy days in front of the fire. Fall is the busiest time of year for chimney sweeps, and now is the time to get your fireplace cleaned and ready for the coldest months of the year.

Prevent Health Risks

Dirty chimneys can not only be dangerous, but they can also pose a serious health risk if not well maintained. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently found that the leading cause of home heating fires over a five year period was the failure to clean and maintain solid-fueled heating equipment. The main problem in particular was creosote buildup in improperly maintained chimneys.

Avoid a Smoky Fireplace

The smokier your fires are, the more creosote will build up in your chimney. One step you can take to reduce buildup is to make sure you’re burning clean wood with low moisture content. In addition to potentially causing blockages, creosote can corrode your chimney, flue liner, and mortar joints, which can also contribute to chimney fires.

Allow Venting of Carbon Monoxide

Chimney fires are not the only danger to a blocked chimney. One of the functions of a chimney is to funnel smoke and carbon monoxide out of your home safely. If the chimney becomes blocked, harmful gasses can be directed into your home, causing a health hazard for anyone inside.

Avoid Repair Delays

Another reason to have your chimney cleaned before the cold starts to sweep in is that wet and cold weather can sometimes interfere with the work that needs to be done. Masonry materials can freeze and delayed repairs mean delayed use of your fireplace.

Get a Chimney Inspection

When your fireplace is cleaned, a professional chimney sweep can also inspect the chimney, chimney cap, flue and damper for damage and needed repairs. For instance, soot can sometimes accumulate on the chimney cap and interfere with your chimney’s functioning as well as potentially corroding the mesh screens in your chimney.

We Inspect for More than Damage

Exterior damage isn’t the only thing we will look for when we inspect a chimney. With use and age, deterioration can occur inside your chimney, just as in any other part of your home or with any other appliance that sees regular use. Flue linings need to be inspected for wear, as a cracked flue lining can let heat into your home that should be contained.

The chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are well-trained and highly certified. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment with a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep in Drexel Hill or the surrounding areas. We will help ensure that your chimney is ready to face the quickly-approaching winter season without issue.