In the winter, a fireplace is a warm escape from the snow and cold on the outside. However, many homeowners don’t give much thought to the condition of the chimney when they snuggle up in front of the fire. Homeowners who neglect regular chimney maintenance are likely to have poor quality air in their home, and may also be at risk of a chimney fire. So it’s important to keep your chimney in good shape.

Winter is the time of year when fireplaces are busy, but before lighting that winter fire, you want to make sure your fireplace is safe. Paying attention to these chimney maintenance tips can help keep your chimney safe and your hearth healthy.

If you use your fireplace often, you should have it properly cleaned at least once a year. A build-up of creosote deposits in the flue can lead to chimney fires, and the hazards increase when you use your chimney often. Think of the chimney as the exhaust pipe in your home. It keeps the air clean by funneling away all the smoke, soot, and dangerous gases that can pollute your home and create a dangerous situation for your entire family. A clean chimney won’t catch fire.

Your chimney needs special care, so let the professional chimney sweeping company handle it. A dirty chimney can put you at risk for a chimney fire that can destroy your home. The risks are greater for older homes with older chimney structures, so it’s best to play it safe and call in chimney professionals each year.

Have your chimney inspected by a Chimney Sweep Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep. A professional chimney sweep knows the signs to look for to determine if you’ve had a chimney fire. Not all chimney fires are visible and noisy; you can have a slow-burning fire that occurs without anyone being aware of it. However, there are telltale signs such as cracks in the masonry, and pieces of creosote on the roof, which can let a certified chimney sweep know that a fire has previously taken place.

The CSIA recommends that homeowners schedule two chimney inspections per year for chimneys that are used on a regular basis. They recommend a once-yearly inspection if the chimney is rarely used. The most important part is to schedule at least one inspection and cleaning per year. You may also ask me any questions you have regarding your chimney, flue, fireplace, or wood burning stove during the appointment.

If you need to have your chimney inspected or cleaned, then give us a call here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service. We understand the complexities of the chimney system, and know what it takes keep your chimney in good shape. Give us a call today at 610-626-2439.