According to news reports from Glendale Arizona in December, 2014, a family managed to escape injury after their home caught fire. The cause of the fire was debris in the chimney that was set ablaze when someone tried to use the fireplace. A member of the family admitted to investigators that the chimney “hadn’t been cleaned out in a while.” Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident, these stories are heard every year and in all parts of the country. This was yet another avoidable home fire which was the result of poor chimney maintenance.

A chimney that has not been swept in more than a year may not look that bad on the outside, but it is definitely in need of attention. Sometimes a dirty chimney will cause debris to fall into the fireplace. This is something that should cause concern, and you shouldn’t hesitate to contact me for a professional inspection and chimney sweeping session.

The Fireplace is Old

Chimneys built before 1965 are known to be plagued by problems with debris. Before then, cement was used to line chimneys in a process called parging. Over time, the aging chimney liners broke down from the acidic smoke produced by the fireplace. As it continued, the effect became more noticeable as the particles fell. Sweeping can help a lot in these circumstances, but it won’t stop the cement liner from breaking down. If you have an old chimney and want to stop the problem altogether, it will have to be relined.

No Chimney Cap

This simple attachment can play a big role in keeping your fireplace free from debris as well as water and small birds or animals. The open chimney can be inviting to birds and they may end up building nests inside. It is also easy for leaves and twigs to be blown into the chimney, even if trees are not very close to the home. So if you own a newer fireplace and there is a debris problem, it could be entering from the top of the system. This is a potentially dangerous situation as it can cause smoke to back up in the home. Installing a chimney cap is also a good way to prevent animals like squirrels from getting into your home.

A regular cleaning is the only way to keep your chimney free from potentially dangerous debris. Chimney inspection should be one of your regular home maintenance tasks. At Lou Curley’s Chimney Service, we don’t just inspect and clean chimneys; we will also perform necessary repairs. We can reline your chimney or install a cap to keep the fireplace free from debris. Call us at 610-626-2439 to talk about all your fireplace and chimney needs. And be sure to make a call if you notice any debris filling into the fireplace.