A Houston chimney sweeps perform many tasks for residential homes with a standard chimney. One of the main functions is to remove the build up of creosote, any blockages, and soot. This debris will layer on the chimney liner, smoke chamber, and the firebox. If a chimney is not adequately cleaned, then it is possible a chimney fire can occur. A chimney fire can occur from a small accumulation of debris. There is are many other problems can will be eliminated by hiring a chimney sweeping professional.
The Basics of Chimney Inspections
One of the tasks that is performed by a Houston chimney sweep during a regular chimney cleaning is a basic inspection. The inspection is done to ensure the fireplace in a residential home and other systems are operating normally. A professional chimney sweep typically recommends that a homeowner get the chimney for their home inspected annually. This is a great time to have a fireplace cleaning done as the chimney will be ready when it will need to be used.
Homeowners who use their chimney minimally during the winter or have a wood burning stove should get an inspection once a year. The inspection will check the fireplace, chimney, and ventilation systems for any defects. There are instances were defects or problems are found if cleaning is not needed. Once a chimney sweep company is hired for a regular fireplace cleaning, then the homeowner is often put on a schedule for an annual inspection.
When to Get a Chimney Inspection
Anytime a homeowner is having performance issue with their chimney or has not had any inspection in over a year, then an inspection should be scheduled. A basic inspection should also be done if a home is recently purchased. The worst thing for a homeowner to do is delay getting an inspection. Waiting is an invitation for problems to occur. This can include needed repairs or removal of blockage that may be in the chimney.
Homeowners should also get an inspection whenever a new stove or insert is added to a chimney. Most chimneys in a home may be fine, but an inspection will make sure the chimney and lining are sufficient for normal use. If a homeowner has not had a chimney cleaning or fireplace cleaning recently, then one potential problem may be pests that can clog the chimney chamber or flue. Chimney sweeping removes any debris or blockage and can determine if any deterioration has occurred.
How Often Should a Chimney Be Cleaned
The basic rule of thumb is a cleaning is based on the amount of use for a fireplace. This means that any fireplace that is used frequently during the winter should have a cleaning done in the summer. The goal is to ensure the chimney structure and fireplace are sound. The chimney should also be free of deposits and any debris that can cause a blockage. One thing to keep in mind is minimal use of a fireplace could result in animals and pasts getting into the chimney. This can result in unsafe operation.
A fireplace should be cleaned by a Houston chimney sweep whenever there is soot build up reaching at least one-eighth of an inch in the chimney structure. This will prevent any build up of creosote which is a potential for a chimney fire. A chimney fire can easily damage the interior of a chimney and spread to the roof and other areas of the home. Another thing for a homeowner to consider is the flue system of a furnace is a form of ventilation that should also be regularly cleaned. A standard cleaning of a fireplace that is heavily used can result in two or more five-gallon buckets of creosote and debris. Removing this material is critical to the safe operation of a chimney.
When to Schedule a Chimney Cleaning
A standard fireplace cleaning should be performed before the start of the heating season. The best time will typically be in the late summer or in early fall. This will make sure the fireplace and chimney have no issues when a fire is stated for the first time on a cold winter day. Starting up a furnace in the winter can lead to ventilation problems if there is any type of blockage. If a homeowner has begun using their fireplace due to cold weather, then do not wait for next year. Professional chimney sweeps will clean a chimney and fireplace during any time of the year.
Waiting too long to schedule an inspection or a cleaning means any problems will not be addressed and any defects will be more expensive to repair. Homeowners need to stay on top of the maintenance for a fireplace to stay safe and prevent unexpected repairs.
Contact Masters Services for more information about residential chimney sweeping.