How often should you clean your chimney? Here is all you need to know about spacing your sweeping routine.
Chimney cleaning is an important aspect of maintenance that cannot be overlooked due to its many benefits. A lot of issues are avoided by carrying out basic cleaning procedures.
While the impact of chimney cleaning on overall performance cannot be denied, how often should it be cleaned? Chimney cleaning frequency is what we seek to discuss.
It’s important to observe a maintenance schedule as it gives a lot of benefits. So, if you’re a bit confused about chimney cleaning frequency, you’re not alone as many homeowners face the same challenge.
Reasons For Cleaning Your Chimney
While it’s quite evident why a chimney should be cleaned, it cannot be stressed enough that there are risks associated with leaving chimneys unattended.
A chimney left for long periods without cleaning is likely to result in chimney fires (and by extension home fires).
If you’re surprised, consider a situation where soot and creosote buildup over time. Of these two, creosotes are the most challenging and riskiest. Creosotes are by-products of firewood combustion that stick to chimney lining.
These are sticky and tar-like.
A steady accumulation of such creosotes without cleaning the area will eventually ignite in the presence of excess heat. This fuels chimney fires which are likely to affect your entire structure.
The best way to handle this is by taking preventive measures to have your chimney cleaned.
Chimney Cleaning Frequency
Now back to our main point of discussion, chimney cleaning needs to follow a scheduled frequency. Chimney cleaning should be done every year. This is mostly preceded by an inspection process.
A chimney sweep scans through all the basic parts including the stack. With this completed, sweeping follows using specialized tools that enhance cleaning efficiency.
Scheduling Chimney Inspection and Cleaning
We’ve seen that chimney inspections need to be scheduled every year. This process involves contacting your chimney service. A reputable chimney service should be preferred.
You can either decide to enter into a contract with such a company or call them each year.
Of the two options, it’s best to enter into a cleaning contract with a cleaning service. This process eliminates the chances of skipping your scheduled cleaning period due to forgetfulness.
Underlying Issues May Be Discovered During Chimney Cleaning
During the cleaning process of a chimney, there are times when a chimney sweep notices certain underlying issues. These may be disasters waiting to happen.
Also, such chimney problems may be affecting the efficiency of your system.
Reputable chimney services may provide basic or simple repairs for smaller chimney issues noticed in the course of cleaning. However, those considered significant enough may be charged separately from the cleaning costs.
It’s common to find undiscovered chimney defects turning into expensive repairs due to further deterioration. Chimney fires are an even greater risk. Therefore, the faster these are attended to the better.
An Unused Chimney May Still Need Inspection
Is it necessary that an unused chimney be inspected since no combustion-related debris or dirt is produced?
The answer is an absolute yes! While the lack of use of a chimney means no excess debris or dirt is lying around, an inspection does more than you think.
An annual inspection does a lot to still keep the chimney in great shape. Basic chimney components have to be checked to ensure they’re still functional.
These parts include furnace flues, heating venting systems, stove systems, and chimneys.
DIY Chimney Cleaning: Is it a Good Idea?
DIY techniques abound for a wide range of maintenance and home improvement actions.
However, things are quite different for chimneys. Your chimney is a complex system that requires the input of a professional. It isn’t a great idea to have it cleaned yourself.
There are many reasons why DIY chimney cleaning isn’t advisable. First, you stand the chance of getting hurt. Chimney cleaning involves climbing up your roof to access the stack. This can be quite tricky as your roof is slanted.
You might end up slipping and falling off the roof. Another reason why you should avoid the DIY cleaning approach is the mess you’re likely to create when soot from the chimney settles around.
Getting these properly cleaned can sometimes be overwhelming.
Chimney cleaning is a delicate process that leaves no room for error. Plus, cleaning efficiency is significantly lower because you don’t have the right cleaning equipment for the job.
Are you trained enough to identify structural issues in a chimney? You’ll need to be able to do this.
Each time a chimney sweep comes around for cleaning, they perform their job professionally. The process is systematic and involves a top-down approach to cleaning.
This requires climbing the roof to gain access to the chimney stack. From here, the top-down cleaning approach is kick-started.
Be Prepared for Surprises
Whenever you call for chimney cleaning, it’s best to be prepared for any surprises that could come up. Surprises in this sense refer to other issues that could be detected.
Such issues will have to be fixed immediately to enhance the general performance of your chimney.