Chimneys have become less common in homes nowadays. This is due to the rise in home renovations and remodeling. In addition, more homes are now choosing a safer heating solution compared to the traditional need to burn wood to keep the indoor space heated. Although the reliance on chimneys and fireplaces has greatly reduced, it doesn’t mean it has been totally eliminated. Willard Power Vac offering chimney cleaning in Portland area and has come across many questions, including how often a chimney should be cleaned.
Chimneys should be inspected annually to ensure they do not build up creosote which can be a fire hazard when not cleaned out. Creosote is a flammable product of wood burning and can stick to the inner parts of the chimney. When it accumulates over time, it can ignite and cause fire problems that can compromise the property and its inhabitants’ safety.
Scheduling an annual chimney inspection ensures that the creosote is cleaned out of the chimney as needed.
Why Regular Chimney Cleaning is Important
Regular or annual chimney cleaning has several advantages, especially for homeowners and their homes. Below are some of the common reasons to clean your chimney.
Prevents fires: Leaving your chimney uncleaned can expose your home to fire problems. Between 2014 and 2018, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reported that 25% of home heating fires were reportedly caused by a failure to clean solid-fuel heating equipment like a chimney. More homeowners who wish to keep their homes heated up the traditional way while preventing fires will enjoy improved safety by regularly inspecting and cleaning their chimneys.
Dangerous accumulation of creosote: Creosote is one of the many by-products of wood burning. Different wood types leave different types of creosote in the chimney, exposing the property to fire problems. Other than this, leaving creosote in place for too long can cause a dangerous accumulation of the crusty substance, which can put the health of inhabitants at risk.
Flue obstruction: Leaving the chimney unattended for a long time can cause a dangerous accumulation in the flue. The flue can also be clogged by small animal nests, tree branches, leaves, rodents, etc. This obstruction puts residents of the property at risk as the smoke and fumes from the burning woods are returned to contaminate the indoor air. The continuous return of smoke and fumes into the house can cause an unhealthy buildup of CO2, which can be dangerous to health. You may need to contact a chimney cleaning company if you’re already experiencing symptoms like dizziness, headaches, lightheadedness, confusion, etc., when your wooden furnace is on.
Low indoor air quality: Every homeowner strives for healthy indoor air quality. However, leaving your chimney uncleaned can affect your indoor air quality, causing an accumulation of CO2 and other harmful materials like creosols.
Why hire a professional for chimney cleaning?
Now that you’re aware of the dangers of leaving your chimney unattended and uncleaned, you may wonder if you should choose a DIY approach or hire a professional. Here are reasons to hire a professional chimney sweeper.
Experience on the job: Job experience is one of the most important factors when it comes to cleaning a chimney. As a novice, you may end up doing a bad job cleaning your chimney or, worse still, hurt yourself. However, a professional can get the job done expertly as they already have years of practical experience cleaning and sweeping chimneys.
Identify and fix issues quickly: Professional chimney sweepers know what a normal and functional chimney looks like and can identify the common signs of problems before they become pronounced. By hiring a professional for your chimney cleaning needs, you’re essentially safeguarding the heating equipment and ensuring that it is in good shape to be used for some more years.
Improve chimney performance: Your chimney will perform a lot better when it is free from obstructions, either caused by creosol buildup or by debris at the flue. A professional cleaner can remove such obstructions.
How to Hire a Professional Chimney Sweeper
Hiring the best chimney sweeper or cleaner can be tricky, especially as everyone claims to be the best at what they do. These tips will help you sift through the many options available:
Research and ask for recommendations: A good way to hire the best chimney sweeper is to research the best companies in your area and ask friends, family, colleagues, and/or neighbors for recommendations. These recommendations can significantly reduce your stress and give you a great starting point.
Read reviews and consider experience: You want a company that has years of experience in the industry as well as great customer reviews. Look up each company online and read reviews from independent review platforms.Request quotes: With due diligence done, ask at least three of the top companies on your list for price quotes. Select the company you feel most comfortable with based on their experience, reviews, communication, and pricing.