You are comforted by the warm, flickering of the fire and the sound of crackling wood. Having a wood burning fireplace can keep you warm and cozy, especially when living in a cold Canadian climate. The comforting ambiance of a fireplace can quickly turn into a dangerous and destructive ordeal if your fireplace and chimney is not regularly maintained.
According to Fire Prevention Canada most chimney fires occur with wood-burning fireplaces. That means regular chimney inspections, fireplace and chimney cleaning is a must for any wood burning fireplace or wood stove.
While you’re enjoying your fire, continued burning release hydrocarbon gases into your chimney. Unburned gases can condense and deposit inside your chimney and harden into creosote. An accumulation of creosote will look like soot or, in its later stages, glazed over tar. If it gets hot enough and mixes with oxygen, this hazardous substance can easily ignite and cause a dangerous chimney fire.
Even before the deposits of creosote ignite having it in your chimney is not good for you. Not only does it diminish the air quality in your home, blocked or dirty flues, chimneys and improper ventilation of burning fireplaces can cause dangerous carbon monoxide to be released in your home. If you own and use a fireplace you should have a carbon monoxide detector nearby.
Regular chimney cleaning and maintenance will also reduce the cost of needed or future repairs. Even if your chimney looks okay from the outside, a professional chimney inspection will determine if all components of your system are in good working order. When problems go unresolved it usually means the cost of having them fixed in the future rises and in worst case scenarios, could result in structural damage or full chimney replacement.
A clean chimney will also increase the efficiency of your fireplace. It will provide you with the most heat while reducing the amount of smoke that gets into the house.
It’s advised that you get your chimney inspected at least once a year, more if you use your fireplace quite often. Most chimney cleaning companies offer a quick and easy chimney inspection where they look for damage, obstructions, creosote build up and let you know if you need a chimney cleaning. In many cases the inspector will have equipment with them and could do the job on the spot.
DIY Chimney Cleaning?
It is possible to clean out your chimney yourself, but you will need special equipment like chimney brushes, extension poles and a powerful vacuum. It is a very strenuous job that could require some climbing and result in being completely covered in soot. Perhaps you should hire a chimney cleaner and watch how they do it before tackling this project yourself. If you do decide to go the DIY route, make sure to have your system inspected by a professional. They will be able to detect potential dangers or flaws that require repair.
Find a Chimney and Fireplace Cleaner in your city on www.renovationfind.com!