What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Chimney?
“A little dirt never hurt anyone,” right? People who firmly believe this mantra may want to read on to find out what happens to a chimney when it is not cleaned regularly. It may surprise you what “a little dirt” over time can do to your chimney.
If you’ve been a chimney owner for a while, no doubt you’ve heard of creosote. Creosote is a tarlike substance that is left behind after burning firewood. Smoke, incompletely burned firewood, oils and chemicals travel up the flue and condense on the inside of the chimney, lining the walls and building up over time. This will greatly reduce the efficiency of a fireplace and can cause many hazards, some of which are mentioned below.
The buildup of creosote and soot can prevent a chimney from venting properly. This means the harmful smoke and gases that should be traveling up and out have no place to go and instead retreat into the home. Toxic fumes including carbon monoxide can poison the air inside the home. Carbon Monoxide is odorless and colorless so many homeowners may not even be aware of what’s happening.
Staining of carpet or nearby surfaces
Creosote and soot buildup begin to fall into the firebox and the natural flow of air can allow the dark substances to seep further into living spaces than normal. The oily nature of soot and creosote will cause it to stain carpets or nearby surfaces if not attended.
In the summertime humidity and heat combined with all the byproducts of fire can produce a musty smell within your chimney. If there has been an undetected leak, the musty smell can turn into a moldy smell that pervades the whole house. There is another possibility when it comes to unpleasant odors. The one no one wants to think about, yes, animals often make nests in unused and neglected chimneys – they can have babies, get stuck, and even die producing terrible smells. It’s true that cleaning the chimney may not make the top 10 list of most important things to do but it is very important to the health and function of your chimney. It can also protect your home and prevent terrible accidents, such as chimney fires, from ever occurring.
Professionals recommend a chimney be inspected and cleaned once a year. Once a year to clear toxic creosote from your chimney, once a year to inspect that there are no leaks, once a year to clear the chimney from leaves, branches, and other obstructions (including critters) that could prevent airflow. At least once a year, protect your home and family from the dangers that occur when a chimney is neglected.
Trained Chimney Technicains
We care about the warmth and comfort your chimney provides and we make chimney safety a priority. We have certified technicians who can handle any chimney challenge from waterproofing to complete and total rebuilds. You can contact us online or call us at 262-763-3522 to schedule your chimney inspection today!