Is it Time to Call a Chimney Sweep for Help?
In Wisconsin, folks get a lot of use out of their fireplaces. Whether it’s for supplemental heating or simply the beauty that a fireplace brings to a home, we operate our fireplaces regularly during the cold winter months. Because of this, chimney and fireplace systems often need professional attention to keep them running optimally.
When cleaning, inspection and repair are necessary, a licensed, certified chimney sweep should be who you turn to first.
Annual inspections and cleaning are recommended by every fire-safety and fire-protection agency. Here are some of the reasons to call a chimney sweep for help.
You’ve had a chimney fire
It goes without saying that chimney fires are nothing to mess around with. Even a small fire can cause a great deal of damage that is impossible for the homeowner to spot. If a fire happens in your chimney, you need to have it inspected before starting another fire.
Is smoke blowing into your house from the fireplace? Assuming the damper is open, the likely cause is a downdraft resulting from a flue that’s too large, a chimney that’s too short, or the absence of a chimney cap. Obstructions also can cause drafting issues.
If you operate your chimney without a cap – and even if you do and your cap is damaged – various things can get into your chimney and create obstructions. Examples are twigs, leaves and other debris as well as animals and their nests. Over time these obstructions can create a real problem with chimney drafting.
Water around the chimney or inside the firebox points to a potentially serious problem. Water can wreak havoc on a chimney system, leading to very expensive repair and rebuilding. If you notice water, the likely causes are damaged flashing, a cracked chimney crown, no chimney cap, or damage to the bricks and mortar of the chimney itself.
Over time a chimney can begin giving off some pretty unflattering odors. The usual cause is imbedded soot and creosote. Dampness within the chimney coupled with negative air pressure inside the home (which pulls air down through the chimney) can intensify the odor problem.
Lastly, the most important reason to call a chimney sweep is for annual cleaning and maintenance to prevent a house fire. Chimneys are the most common causes of fires in homes and, ironically, one of the easiest things to fix to prevent these fires. Over the seasons, chimneys experience a build-up of flammable creosote, which can be easily ignited. Depending on the quantity of this substance, the fire can be devastating.
Chimney Specialists of Highland, Wis., provides full-service chimney cleaning, inspection, maintenance and repair. We know what it takes to keep your fireplace and chimney working efficiently and safely all year, every year. Call us with questions or to arrange an appointment at (608) 929-4887.