What Could Happen if you Skip Chimney Cleaning Too Long?
If you’re asking what can happen if you go too long without a chimney cleaning, it’s likely time to schedule chimney cleaning before using your fireplace again. The reality is that it can be hazardous to use a fireplace when the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for more than a year or two. The danger posed to you by skipping chimney cleaning depends on different factors, however. For instance, if you burn wood fires, the potential danger is real and could be immediate. If you have a gas fireplace, the situation is not likely as grave. In any event, annual chimney inspections are essential and highly recommended by experts at every leading fire safety organization in the U.S. The chimney professional who conducts your inspection will let you know whether chimney cleaning should be scheduled right away. If you skip chimney cleaning too long, the following are some of the things that could happen.
A Chimney Fire
You may be enjoying a fire in the fireplace with your family when you hear a very loud popping and cracking sound coming from the chimney. Suddenly, smoke begins to pour into the room. These are among the signs of a chimney fire, an event that often leads to an out-of-control house fire. Go outside immediately, call 9-1-1 right away, and wait outside for the firefighters.
An unfortunate myth is that chimney fires are helpful because they can supposedly cut the costs of chimney cleaning by burning off the creosote deposits in the chimney lining. Ironically, chimney fires often destroy chimney linings, which soon leads to a house fire.
The reason chimney cleaning is so important when you have a wood-burning fireplace is because highly flammable creosote is deposited in the chimney with each fire. When chimney cleaning is neglected, layers of creosote build up and increase the chances of a dangerous and potentially deadly chimney fire.
Another danger associated with a dirty chimney is blockage that can cause toxic fumes to enter your home. Combustion gases that go up the chimney contain dangerous toxins, including deadly carbon monoxide. Known as the Silent Killer, carbon monoxide is odorless, invisible, and symptomless.
If a dirty chimney is blocked by a buildup of creosote when a fire is lit, fumes will blow back up into the home. If no carbon monoxide detectors have been installed, the fumes can cause serious injury or death before anyone realizes there is a problem.
Tips to Reduce Creosote Buildup
Chimney cleaning is needed more frequently when you have frequent fires or inefficient fires. Inefficient fires deposit more creosote in the chimney flue. Efficient fires burn only seasoned firewood, whether softwood or hardwood. In addition, ashes are removed from the firebox as needed so that plenty of air can get to the fires.
Inefficient fires are the result of burning green wood that’s full of moisture. Another potential cause is if the home is sealed so tightly that no air can be pulled into the fireplace and up the chimney.
Contact Chimney Specialists for Chimney Cleaning
We are your chimney experts at Chimney Specialists Inc. if you live in Highland, WI, or the surrounding area. Is your chimney dirty and in need of cleaning? Contact us today for chimney cleaning, chimney repairs, chimney inspections, and all of your chimney and fireplace needs. We can also help if you would like to have a new heating appliance installed in your home. We are a supplier of hearth products. We can answer all of your questions and help you decide on the perfect fireplace or heating stove for your home. Please see our contact information, below, and, remember, don’t wait too long to get your chimney cleaned!
Chimney Specialists Inc.
869 Main Street, Highland, WI
Phone: (608) 929-4887 / Toll Free: (800) 395-6660
Dubuque Fireplace & Patio
925 Century Drive, Dubuque, Iowa
Phone: (563) 582-5156