You see it everywhere, “inspect your chimney yearly” but no one really dives into the reason behind a yearly inspection. Is it really needed? If so, why? Today I’m going to address those concerns and give you valid reasons to schedule a yearly inspection. I’ll even explain why you should have your chimney inspected during the summer instead of during the winter.
Do I need a yearly chimney inspection?
The short answer to that question is yes. But I promised a more in-depth answer, so here we go… Your chimney catches a lot of soot and creosote throughout winter and early spring. Creosote buildup causes chimney fires. Chimney fires often spread to the rest of the house, and may get out of control very quickly.
Birds and small animals reproduce during the spring, so they are continually on the lookout for safe spots to build nests and raise their young. Your chimney provides shelter from the elements, and from predators, too. A summertime chimney cleaning and inspection will ensure structural stability, overall condition, and that you don’t have small animals living in your chimney.
Can I perform my own chimney inspection?
Sure. But don’t be surprised if something goes wrong. You can easily see obstructions in the chimney by simply looking up. You can also look for cracks and deterioration. But do you really know what you’re looking at when you see creosote buildup? Do you know how to clean it properly? Are you willing to risk a house fire to save the money you’d spend on an inspection?
Is a chimney inspection and cleaning considered maintenance?
Yes it is. You pressure wash the exterior of your home, clean the gutters, and refresh the landscaping; don’t take your chimney for granted. It isn’t just some pipe that carries smoke out of your home. It is a functioning piece of equipment that must be properly maintained for the safety of your home and family.
Tips for summertime fireplace
Most people don’t use their fireplace often during the summer. Maybe the occasional romantic evening at home with someone special, or just to knock a morning chill out of the house, but the fireplace is otherwise left dormant during summer. Take this opportunity to thoroughly clean it and really make it a centerpiece for the room.
A fireplace is often the center of attention in a room, regardless of season. They’re just stunningly beautiful and create a feeling of calmness wherever they are. Clean the entire hearth to remove any soot that may have settled there over the course of the winter. Decorate it with bright, colorful things that help brighten the room for summer. Consider buying a fireplace cover that helps blend the unused fireplace with the rest of the room’s decor.
Whatever you do to help your fireplace blend into the room during summer, remember to schedule a full fireplace and chimney cleaning and inspection this summer. Be careful when hiring a chimney sweep, recent years have seen an influx of people claiming to be certified, requesting to be paid up front, and disappearing without a trace. Always ask to see credentials.