Why Early Fall Is the Perfect Time for a Chimney Cleaning and Inspection
You don’t have to live in Wisconsin for more than a year to know how intense the winter weather is. Fireplaces get used quite a bit during the cold season, and in order for them to operate safely, they should undergo an annual inspection. The start of fall is a good time to have this service performed so the chimney and fireplace will be ready for whatever Old Man Winter throws at it.
Particularly with a wood-burning fireplace, the services most commonly needed cover two areas: inspection and cleaning.
While certain chimney problems can be spotted by the average person – crumbling brick, a damper that won’t open, etc. – other potentially serious issues can be found only during an inspection by a certified professional.
Cracks in the crown will allow rainwater and water from melting snow to seep into the flue, causing eventual deterioration. Very small cracks in the bricks and mortar that form the chimney are not always easy for homeowners to see. When moisture gets into the chimney components, a cycle of freezing and then thawing can lead to significant damage.
Professionals have the equipment and training to spot problems areas in a fireplace or chimney and initiate the proper solutions. Early fall is a good time to schedule an inspection because in the worst-case scenario, if a sizeable repair or replacement job is required, it likely will be finished before seriously cold weather sets in and you need to regularly use your fireplace.
As noted, smoke from a wood fire leaves quite a bit of residue in chimneys. Many homeowners are quite surprised to learn just how much sticky creosote is clinging to the inner walls of their chimney after just one season of use. Chimneys that haven’t been checked in several years may contain a level of build-up that could ignite into a very destructive fire.
In addition to smoke residue, chimneys often wind up with debris such as leaves, twigs and bird nests. These obstructions can create a serious problem with air flow and provide fuel for a fire if not taken care of.
Homeowners can often do a good job of cleaning the firebox and removing soot and smoke residue, but it is never advised for an un-trained person to attempt a comprehensive chimney cleaning project.
Chimney inspection and cleaning can be done at any time of year, but most homeowners prefer to schedule this work just prior to the cold season. Summer vacations are over, everybody’s back to work and school and there’s some time to wait for the completion of repairs, should they be necessary.
Burlington Fireplace of Wisconsin is standing by to help with all the fireplace and chimney services you need, from expert inspection and cleaning to complete repair work on any part of the system. To schedule an appointment, or if you have questions, call (262) 763-3522.