How to Tell When a Chimney Needs Cleaning

March 23, 2018

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sweepThere’s no easy answer for when it’s a good time to clean a chimney. There’s no one obvious standard such as every year, or every 20 uses. Every chimney is different, and creosote can form at different rates depending on the chimney and a variety of conditions. And, since a thick layer of creosote can be highly flammable, it’s important you not let it build up over time. To protect your home in Kennesaw, dry vent cleaning may be required. Here are a few ways to tell if a cleaning is due.

Look for the Signs

When a fireplace has reached the stage where it must be cleaned, there are few obvious things to look for. Are your fires starting slowly? And, do they never reach that full, bright stage you’re expecting? That can be a sign of too little oxygen getting to the fire, indicating a blockage in the chimney. Similarly, if smoke from the fire is filling the room, or worse, the entire house, then there’s definitely a problem that needs to be addressed. When a fire is not lit, be on the lookout for cold air or bad odors emanating from your chimney. That is most definitely a no-no.

Check for Creosote

Before sticking your head into the chimney, make sure there’s no downdraft. If there is one, then open a door or window on the same floor as the chimney until it stops, and the air is flowing upwards. Outfit yourself in goggles and a dust mask, then take your flashlight and, using a fireplace poker, scratch the surface above the damper. If the mark you leave is thin like paper, then no cleaning is necessary. If there appears to be 1/8-inch worth of creosote, then make an appointment soon. If there’s 1/4-inch, get it cleaned before you use it again.

Fireplaces are a wonderful thing in the winter, but they need to be treated with care. When it’s time for a proper cleaning, hire experts at chimney cleaning in Kennesaw, so you’ll know the job is done right.

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