Even if you don’t use your fireplace a lot, chimneys need to be regularly maintained in order for your home to be safe and free of functional issues. Here’s what you need to know about chimney maintenance:

How Often Should You Schedule Chimney Maintenance?

The National Fire Protection Association recommends a yearly inspection of your home’s chimney, followed by a cleaning if necessary. In addition to normal soot accumulation, chimneys are ideal nesting spots for birds, squirrels, bats and raccoons, the debris of which can pose potential issues if not properly and regularly cleared. Even if you don’t actually see a problem with your chimney, soot, ashes, branches, leaves and other matter can block the flow of smoke, air and other gases and leave your chimney and/or even entire home susceptible to damage. At Brickworks Property Restoration, we suggest yearly maintenance for your chimney in order to avoid bigger — and potentially life-threatening — issues down the line. 

Specific Reasons to Schedule Chimney Maintenance

The main reason to schedule maintenance is to keep your chimney working normally. When performed properly, regular chimney maintenance helps to:

  • Prevent Chimney FiresChimney fires most commonly occur as a result of creosote buildup within the interior walls of a chimney. Creosote is a highly flammable, tar-like substance that forms as the chemicals and other particles within smoke cool and condense on their way out of a chimney. It accumulates over time, moving through three stages of buildup, each one progressively harder to remove than the last. With regular chimney maintenance, however, creosote is removed before it becomes concentrated (and, thus, more difficult to clear and more likely to catch fire).
  • Clear Debris — A large bird’s nest or other rogue animal lair can partially or completely block a chimney, making it impossible for smoke to escape your home when you use your fireplace. The nest itself poses a fire hazard, as well, since nesting materials are typically vulnerable to catching fire. Chimney maintenance allows you to clean your chimney of soot and other debris so that your chimney correctly directs smoke and other toxic chemicals and gases out of your fireplace and has nothing extraneous within its interior that could possibly ignite.
  • Remove Odors from the Home — Debris in a chimney can also smell. Chimney maintenance provides the opportunity for you to remove unpleasant odors that stem from creosote buildup, soot and animal or other natural debris!
  • Identify Possible Problems — Finally, regular chimney maintenance is the perfect time to look for possible problems with the structural integrity of the chimney itself. It can uncover damaged flue tiles, crowns and flashing; cracked liners; missing mortar and caps; faulty dampers and more! Identifying these types of issues immediately helps protect your home from more expensive and extensive damage in the future.

Want to Learn More?

If your home has a chimney, you should be scheduling routine chimney maintenance. Regular inspections will help protect your home and keep you and your family safe. Please contact Brickworks Property Restoration to learn more about chimney maintenance or to have your chimney’s structural integrity inspected today.