One of the reasons you purchased your home was the beautiful chimney in the family room. It is a focal point of the house, and in the cold winter months, it is the place everyone gathers around. As spring approaches and brings with it warmer days and nights, it may be time to check into routine chimney maintenance. Do you know when you need to clean your chimney? If you don’t keep it in tip-top shape, it may wind up failing and catching on fire.
How Often Does a Chimney Need Cleaning?
Unlike other appliances or elements of your house, there is no recommended or fixed schedule for getting your chimney cleaned. If you use it very often and the wood does not always burn completely, it may cause black smoke to become trapped inside the inner workings of the fireplace. This smoke contains a chemical called creosote. It is the creosote buildup you have to get cleaned using chimney cleaning Washington DC.
How Can You Tell the Chimney Needs Cleaning?
You can tell when it needs servicing by doing a visual inspection. First, you want to make sure there is no draft blowing down the chimney. If there is, you will need to reverse it by ventilating the inside of your home for a bit. This is so you don’t get the creosote blown down on you when you stick your head in to take a peak. Use a flashlight to increase your field of vision. Take a sharp object and scratch at the black deposits around the flue and above the firebox. The deeper the scratch, the more buildup you have. The rule of thumb is service your chimney when the scratch is 1/8 inch deep or more. If it is 1/4 inch deep, do not use the fireplace until it gets serviced.
Keeping your family safe from an unfortunate accident is your top priority. Getting your fireplace and chimney serviced can help it stay in working order.