Have you gotten a chimney cleaning yet this year?
Who cares to clean their chimney? Who even notices their chimney any month out of the year besides during the holiday season? Those were my thoughts prior to being an employee at the largest chimney sweep company in the country.
The Christmas of 2004, my parents just moved my sister and I into a new home. Our parents decided to have a simultaneous house warming/ Christmas party and we wanted to show off big time. Our home was larger than the last, furnished with more fancy, modern appliances, including our fireplace. This fireplace differed from the last because we burned actual fire wood for warmth, not gas logs that maintain their structure throughout a fire. I recall my dad and his brothers bringing in what seemed to be tons of wood and storing them in our barn garage. The day of the party, My dad set the mood early in the morning burning the logs as soon as we all woke up. twice before the party started, he had to replenish the firebox with more wood. That doubled as the party commenced. The party died down and the last of the wood burned out. Nothing remained but gray, unattractive ash. This offset the beauty of our new home, and I suggested to my parents that we get a thorough chimney cleaning. My dad, nicknamed "Bob the Builder", refused to enlist outside help to clean the chimney, thinking it was too minute to spend money on. So the ash remained. January came around and we throw one final shindig. A guest requested that we burn the fireplace and my dad obliges, gets the wood, and starts the fire. A smothering odor of smoke penetrated the room along with a faulty fire. It was embarrassing to say the least, but could have prevented the unexpected smoke storm if we had solicited a proper chimney cleaning. My dad quickly changed his mind about the urgency of getting the chimney cleaned, and once the technicians arrived and gave us a full inspection and explanation as to why the cleaning was so imperative, he understood.
My family had to learn the hard way, but chimney cleaning is of great importance, and should be handled professionally. Improper maintenance or the complete lack of chimney maintenance will cause what happened to us at our party. The soot buildup and the accumulation of creosote, a pollutant given off from burning wood, is a dangerously flammable combination that just sits in your chimney and fireplace and will cause the heating of smoke, rather than a successful wood burning fire. This needs to be removed to have the chimney operate properly.
"How would consumers possibly be feel the need to have their chimney serviced?", I asked myself my first day as a Secretary for the company. I quickly recalled and mentally replayed the holiday season on 2004 in my household. Though now a comical story, chimney cleaning is very serious and important for those of you that enjoy burning your fireplaces. Don't be like my dad. Save yourself embarrassment and fire hazards and enlist the help of a chimney cleaning service before your burning-your-fireplace season begins.