Written by Chad Murray on December 8, 2016
You don’t need a chimney sweep every day of the year, or even every year for some people. However, there are those times that you should call one in whether you saw them yesterday or you’ve never enlisted the services of one before. Here are those moments in life when you shouldn’t push back making that call to bring in a pro chimney sweep.
#1: You’ve Never Used Your Chimney
Whether you live in a new home and this is your first time using the fireplace or you’ve lived in your home for years and have just incorporated the existing fireplace into your décor, you should call a chimney sweep for an inspection and cleaning.
You’ll need to know the amount of build up of soot that occurred from the previous person that used the fireplace, if they used it all, before you consider lighting your first fire. This will give you the knowledge you need to confidently roast marshmallows and enjoy the warmth, without the risks of an unnecessary house fire that can be ignited by a dirty chimney.
#2: You’ve Lit More Fires Than Normal This Year
The more you light fires, the more build up will occur. If you’ve noticed that you’ve lit more fires this past year than previous years because the cold season ran long or you worked from home more, then call a chimney sweep in a little earlier than you normally would. If you aren’t sure how many fires is a normal to call in the pros, you can ask your chimney sweep when he cleans the fireplace how often it should be on the list based on how dirty it was.
#3: You’ve Heard the Sounds of Wildlife in Your Chimney
If you hear the sounds of birds, squirrels, and other wildlife in your chimney, it’s important that you have them removed by a professional chimney sweep. They know the proper techniques and tactics to protect your structure, as well as successfully remove the animal.
Don’t light a fire if you suspect you have animals in your chimney and start paying attention to entryways such as the top of the chimney to notice if there are wildlife entering and exiting. The solution may be as simple as a new chimney cap to prevent them from returning.
#4: You’re Selling Your Home
If you plan on selling your home in the near future have a chimney sweep come out to clean and inspect your fireplace. This will give you the knowledge that your fireplace is in good condition, and potential buyers will appreciate that they can light a cozy fire the day they move in.
#5: You Want to Ensure Your Family Is Safe
Having your chimney swept is more than just a convenience; it’s a safety measure that every home should take that has a fireplace. Also be sure that you have fire extinguishers strategically placed, and that your family has a fire safety plan in case of an emergency.