Why Should You Clean Your Chimney?

For many people, one of the best parts of winter is curling up by a warm fireplace. Many homeowners don’t give a second thought to how clean their chimney is—no one sees it, so what does it matter? In truth, it matters a lot.

Why Should You Clean It?

Over time, burning wood can cause a buildup of creosote, which is a highly flammable bi-product of burning wood, in your chimney. Even if you don’t use your chimney very often, it’s a good idea to have a chimmney cleaning in Washington DC; animals like squirrels, birds and even bats like to make nests in chimneys, and the debris from these nests could make using the fireplace dangerous. If you don’t have your chimney cleaned out, the creosote or debris from animals’ nests could cause a chimney fire.

How Serious Are Chimney Fires?

Chimney fires are one of the major causes of house fires. Even small chimney fires, which you may not even notice, can cause expensive damage to your chimney, and small fires are often a precursor to big ones. Bigger chimney fires have the potential to leave the fireplace and damage or destroy your home.

How Can You Reduce Creosote Buildup?

Never use damp or freshly cut wood in your fireplace, as this will make the fire smoky and the condensation will cause more creosote to build up. Instead, make sure you keep the fire burning hot, open the damper fully, use well-seasoned, dry wood for your fire and avoid burning pine.

How Often Should You Get It Cleaned?

You should get your fireplace cleaned every year, ideally sometime in late summer or early fall so that it’s clean when the cold weather hits. This will also help you spot smaller repairs that may be necessary early on, before they become big and very expensive issues.

Maintaining your chimney properly is a matter of safety for you and your family. A chimney that is clean and free of debris will give you the peace of mind to enjoy countless quiet nights by the fire for years to come.