When did you clean your chimney last?
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
There's nothing cozier than snuggling up by a crackling fire on a fridged evening.
But, before you set that gazing ball ablaze, when was your last cleaning?
Creosote, a gummy residue created by soot, smoke, gases and other particles, can stick to the lining of your chimney. Creosote is flammable and when it builds up, it can cause a dangerous chimney fire.
There are approximately 25,000 chimney fires each year in America. Experts recommend that chimneys be inspected every year by a certified chimney sweep and cleaned if necessary. The cost can range from $100 to $300 or higher.
Cleaning a chimney is not a do-it-yourself project. It's a dirty job, and it also can be risky, especially if you have to climb onto the roof.
Chimney sweeps are trained to determine whether chimneys are structurally sound and whether they need to be cleaned. They also will make sure the chimney is up to code, especially important in older houses.
You don't have or use your fireplace? You're not off the hook. Whether you burn oil or gas, if your home is older, your furnace is probably vented through your chimney. You need to make sure carbon monoxide is properly exhausted from your house.
John Shaw, of Chimney Sweeps of the Finest Kind, has been servicing chimnies since 1978 and says the number one preventative step you can take to minimize creosote buildup is to use dry wood.
Often wood is sold as "green, seasoned or partially seasoned." Shaw suggests you ask if the wood has been seasoned for at least one full year. If you hear the wood hiss or it steams, it's wet. Wet wood is the creosote culprit!
Although this is busy season, John Shaw and his crew work year round doing cleaning, inspections, installations, sales, etc. and they have an A+ BBB rating.