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3 Reasons to Budget for an Annual Chimney Sweep

Even if it hasn’t been high on the priority list, we implore you to consider the hazards of not having your chimney inspected and cleaned.

Although once a year is ideal, Chicago suburban home owners don’t always comply. Maybe you just purchased the house, maybe you haven’t burned much wood last year. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends an annual chimney inspection. If you are a heavy fireplace user or a light one, you can gauge your need to clean will happen every two face cords, which usually works out to annually. Maybe you burn more wood than the average family, maybe less; so anticipating need based on wood burnage is more accurate than time.

{A face cord is a well stacked woodpile approximately 4’ high x 8’ wide x 2’ deep}

There are so many reasons to have a licensed chimney sweep come to your home and inspect your chimney. However, we’ll keep it simple and give you three:

  • Prevention of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Prevention of House Fire

  • Minimization of Future Repair Costs

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is Odorless, Colorless and Doesn’t Show Symptoms Until It’s Too Late

Birds and small animals that nest in your chimney can cause blockages that force Carbon monoxide (CO) back into your home. Even though carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless,  tasteless, and does not immediately show symptoms when it poisons its victims, it is extremely dangerous. Be sure to keep operational carbon monoxide detectors in place around your home, especially in the rooms with fireplaces or wood stoves.

A blocked chimney, a broken chimney connector pipe, a rusted heat exchanger or a deteriorated chimney could cause carbon monoxide to build up and seep into your home rather than out.

Having a licensed chimney sweep come to your home to inspect and clean your chimney will also help catch some of these potential poisoning dangers.

Avoiding the Potential of House Fires Starts in Your Chimney

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends all chimneys be inspected on an annual basis to prevent chimney fires. They also do some great research and compile some relevant statistics that prove our point.

According to the NFPA, “Chimneys, fireplaces, or chimney connectors were involved in 38 percent of reported home heating fires from 2007 thru 2011.”

To avoid a chimney fire, a professional chimney sweep inspects your chimney, identifies issues which could cause a chimney fire such as a buildup of creosote and soot within the chimney lining.  A small fire inside of your chimney might be able to be contained quickly; however, it can cause damage to the chimney lining.

If the soot and creosote is not removed, more fires can occur and the damage may not be contained to the chimney next time, but include some of the chimney structure or combustible materials near the chimney, causing irreversible damage to your home.

Because a chimney fire is isolated in a small enclosed space, it can become very hot very quickly. The alarmingly high temperatures in a chimney fire allow for a quickly moving blaze which can destroy a home and even make it difficult for occupants to evacuate in time.

Preventative Maintenance

When you have a chimney inspection and cleaning, your chimney sweep will also point out any areas of concern on your chimney and fireplace system that might need repair.  Just like when you go to the dentist, your chimney sweep might tell you there is an urgent need for replacement of one item but to keep an eye on another area. If you avoid doing the timely repairs, you might wind up having to replace more than you originally would have had to, so listen to your chimney sweep carefully and ask lots of questions.

If you are ready for us to take the plunge down or up your chimney and be in the know on your chimney, give us a call today!

Our chimney sweeps are certified, trained, and licensed.  With 30 years in business and  two generations of the Dearborn family actively working in the family business, we appreciate long-term relationship with our customers and even offer our Chimney Sweep for Life program to help you remember this important home event each year.

Our goal is to reduce chimney fire hazards and be your go-to chimney sweep for life!