Dirty Chimneys by the Numbers

Nobody likes to pay money for maintenance around their home for several reasons. You might feel that you can do the job better yourself. You might think that spending money on maintenance that doesn’t improve the look of your home or really change anything about your home is a waste of time and resources. Maybe you haven’t given chimney cleaning a second thought until the weather turns cold and you are ready to build a fire in your fireplace. Regardless of why you are putting off getting your chimney cleaned, now is the time to give the task serious consideration. Not sure you want to spend the money? We’re here to tell you why you need a Chimney Sweep in Atlanta or your area before the cold weather sets in.

Why You Need a Chimney Sweep

Here at Atlanta Chimney Doctor, we know the importance of keeping a chimney clean. We have seen many a mishap and misfortune occur because of neglecting to get an annual sweep of a chimney. If you want peace of mind this winter, a chimney sweep should be scheduled soon, a few weeks before you plan on using your fireplace. Check out these stats to learn why a clean chimney may save you money:

  • Homeowners should have their fireplaces cleaned annually: Even if your fireplace is used infrequently, experts agree that it should still be cleaned and inspected regularly. The National Fire Protection Association asserts that every fireplace should be inspected for damage and fire hazards such as bird nests each year, regardless of how frequently the fireplace is in use. Regular inspections and cleanings are the ultimate protection against house fires caused by fireplaces.
  • Chimney fires are a common occurrence: Chimney fires occur more frequently than you might imagine. It is estimated that 25,000 chimney fires occur each year. A large portion of these fires were preventable if homeowners would have heeded the National Fire Protection Association and kept their fireplaces properly maintained.
  • Chimney cleaning is affordable: According to Angie’s List, homeowners typically pay an average of $178 for annual chimney cleanings. The cost may be lower or higher depending upon your area, but when you consider the costs of most home maintenance repairs and services done by professionals, this fee is quite affordable. Every homeowner who plans to make use of their fireplace in the winter needs to invest in the safety and security of their home with the use of a chimney sweep!
  • Fire and smoke damage is expensive: Putting aside all risks to health, chimney fires are expensive as well! One average a homeowner can expect to pay $2,000-6,000 on fire and smoke damage repairs. Depending upon the damage to your home and your insurance coverage, you may end up spending a lot more! The minimal cost of a chimney cleaning and simple maintenance will prevent any chance of an expensive chimney fire. When you balance the minimal costs against the risks of a serious expense, it makes financial sense to invest in annual chimney cleanings!

Single Family House Fire

Known to the American Red Cross as the silent disaster because these types of fires do not get much media attention, the single-family house fire is the disaster that the Red Cross responds to most. Some of these fires start with the chimney. By using a good chimney cleaning company in Roswell, GA, you do not have to face the same risk.

Bad Air

Salt Lake City, which is becoming known for its air inversion and its bad air quality, has banned fires in fireplaces because of the hazardous air it creates. A blocked chimney can cause the smoke and chemicals from your fire to back into the home. For many people, this is a minor inconvenience, quickly relieved by opening a door and windows. For some, this type of air could lead to asthma attacks or allergic reactions.

How to Prevent Your Chimney from Getting Too Dirty

Keep Flames under Control

Part of why your chimney is getting so dirty is that you might sometimes let your fire get out of control. If the flames of your fire reach up too high into the chimney, it will be very difficult to keep it clean. Sprinkle baking soda on hot coals and flames to keep them from getting out of control for a safer fireplace.

Fight Ashes with Ashes

It might seem odd, but using a wet cloth that has been dipped in fireplace ashes to polish your fireplace glass doors will get rid of soot and ash that has built up on the inside of the doors. Do this regularly as part of your chimney cleaning routine.

Hire Professionals

By far, the best way to keep your chimney clean is to hire a chimney sweeper to come once per year to perform a checkup and make sure your chimney is safe to use for the following year. You might have done a good job cleaning it up throughout the year but there could be creosote and buildup in your chimney that can easily catch fire and cause serious damage in your home.

Finding a chimney sweep and getting him or her to clean your chimney can help prevent all of these problems. Not only will chimney sweeps clean your chimney, but they may also spot other potential hazards that can be easily repaired before they become a dire problem. That may be why shaking a chimney sweep’s hand is considered lucky in some countries.