Signs It’s Time To Clean Your Chimney
Keeping your fireplace clean and maintained is an essential part of safety. Here are some signs that you may be overdue for a chimney cleaning.
Bird Or Animal Nests
Birds and other animals build nests to provide a safe and warm place for their young to live. They use a wide range of materials including fur, leaves, grasses, mosses, twigs, branches, bones, and even wool and spider silk. The type of nest a bird chooses depends on its location and environment. On some occasions, the venue can be your chimney. With that said, it’s definitely time to clean your chimney if you suddenly see stray pieces of wood or leaves falling into the fireplace or flue. These pieces could indicate that various critters have been nesting or nestling there. And this can clog the venting system and interfere with proper airflow, leading to smoke and carbon monoxide in your home. Save yourself and the friendly neighborhood critters and clean up your chimney.
When wood is burned in a fireplace, it results in smoke that contains all kinds of chemicals. It also carries moisture that sticks to the walls of the chimney in the form of creosote. This natural byproduct of a wood-burning fire is a flammable substance that can cause a chimney fire. It also emits toxins that can be harmful to human health. The best way to prevent creosote buildup is to have your chimney swept at least once a year. This can help to decrease the chances of your chimney catching on fire and cause damage to your home.
Excessive Black Material
A fireplace that is spotted with black material, including soot and creosote, could be a sign it’s time to get it cleaned. Soot is a precursor to creosote, and it should be cleared out before it has a chance to form into a more serious buildup. The National Fire Protection Association recommends cleaning your chimney annually or whenever you have 1/8 -inch or more creosote buildup. The NFA also advises you to contact a professional if there are other indications of an issue, like odor or smoke coming into your home, or if you’re burning more than two cords of wood per year.
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