While often overlooked or forgotten, proper chimney maintenance is crucial to keeping a safe household. In fact, between the years of 2014 and 2018, the leading cause for chimney fires was due to people failing to clean their chimneys from creosote, the oily residue that builds up in chimneys and is usually the leading cause for fires.
Spring and summer are the best times of the year to have your chimney sweeped, inspected, and repaired.
Most people wait to get their chimneys checked out, but here’s why you shouldn’t:
• Long wait times in the fall and winter. Since most people procrastinate getting their chimneys cleaned, chimney maintenance professionals usually get busy towards the fall and winter months, which may impact how quickly they’ll be able to help you.
• Better maintenance and repair conditions. It’s always best to complete the repairs during the spring or summer to avoid weather interference. Repairs and sealing that need to be done on the exterior of the chimney won’t be as effective if moisture is present. In addition, masonry is generally easier to set during warmer temperatures, making repairs easier.
How often should I inspect and clean my chimney?
You may be asking yourself “Ok, well how often do I need to clean and maintain my chimney?” The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you schedule a cleaning for your chimney once a year. The type of chimney doesn’t matter, if you have a solid fueled heating unit, you should have at least an annual cleaning. A few necessary services for proper chimney maintenance include:
• Chimney cleaning. Chimney sweeps clean the chimney from buildup that accumulates on the chimney walls and remove any blockages that may be present.
• Chimney inspections. Inspectors examine the different parts of the chimney to identify any water damage or structural issues.
• Chimney repairs. Chimney contractors fix whatever issues the inspection revealed, from damaged bricks or mortar to old chimney caps.
If you’re unsure whether your chimney needs maintenance, it’s probably time to schedule a cleaning, inspection, and possibly repairs. Like mentioned before, warm and dry conditions are optimal for any kind of chimney maintenance, so spring and summer are the best times to get ahead with any sort of chimney project. If you live in an area that gets humid during the summer, it’s even more incentive to hire a chimney sweep early in the spring, because the warm, humid air can cause problems like unpleasant odors in an unclean chimney. You should also consider
a spring chimney inspection if you live in a place that has summer rains. Undetected leaks and cracks can become an even bigger problem in warm, humid weather if not addressed!
Don’t get stuck on a waitlist when you realize you need to have your chimney repaired, schedule your annual chimney sweeping, inspection, and repair today!