For this Friday blog, Le-Squeegee is here with a few tips on when you should be sweeping your chimney. Le-Squeegee recommends that chimneys used during the winter are swept in the following spring or summer. This helps eliminate creosote buildup and reduce the risk of a damaging house fire.
What is creosote? – It is a residue that comes from burning wood or coal. If it is not regularly addressed in a chimney it can build and develop into a tar-like substance. A creosote buildup can result in a chimney that does not draft properly. It is also an irritant and can lead to skin, eye and respiratory irritation. It is also a fire hazard if allowed to build up over the years in a chimney.
Is it more difficult this winter to start a fire? This is a sign of a chimney in need of cleaning – A weak draft and poor airflow can turn into difficulty starting a fire. This often results from a buildup or blockage in the chimney and means it should be swept.
Smoke flowing into the house and not through the chimney – Smoke not drafting through the chimney is another sign of a poorly drafting chimney and means that a sweep is necessary.
Inspect a chimney regularly for build ups or blockages – Black creosote and other blockages can sometimes be seen with a quick inspection. It is a good idea to regularly look at the chimney opening and see if there are any visible issues.
A wood burning smell when the fireplace is not in use – Does it smell like a fire is lit even when it isn’t? Well this can be a lingering smell leftover from a severe creosote buildup.
Spring and summer is the best time for a chimney sweep – Often the best clean for a chimney is achieved from the outside of the home. It can be difficult and unsafe to work on the roof during the cold months, making it harder to clean the chimney.