Your fireplace is not only a beautiful focal point. It produces heat and keeps your family toasty warm, even on cool spring and summer nights. Having your chimney cleaned by a professional helps it run efficiently and protects your family. Burning wood in your chimney leads to the buildup of creosote, a sticky substance that accumulates inside your chimney. Creosote buildup can increase the risk of chimney fires.
Here are a few signs that you need to contact a professional to have your chimney swept.
Fires Are Difficult to Start and Keep Burning
When your fireplace is working correctly, it should be easy to start a fire and keep it burning. However, if you've noticed it is very difficult to start a fire or if the fire continuously burns out, despite trying to keep it going, you may need your chimney cleaned. When the chimney becomes clogged with creosote and other substances that naturally occur when burning wood, it doesn't allow proper air flow.
If there is not enough oxygen, your fire will be very difficult to start and maintain. Additionally, when the fire is burning, your home will often become flooded with smoke. When your chimney is blocked, the smoke cannot travel outside and will instead enter your home. If the smoke will not travel up the chimney at all, there could be a severe blockage, such as a deceased animal.
The Smell of Burning Wood When There is No Fire
The smell of a crackling fire is unmistakable and enjoyable on a cool spring or summer morning. However, what if you always smell the familiar odor of a burning fire, even when you haven't used your fireplace in days or weeks? The buildup of creosote inside your chimney can mimic the smell of a burning fire.
This is because creosote is a byproduct of the fire. The constant odor of a burning fire is often a sign of creosote buildup, and you should have your chimney examined and cleaned immediately.
A Buildup of Soot and Creosote in the Firebox
Finally, keep an eye on your firebox and watch for a severe buildup of creosote and soot. If the creosote buildup is so severe that is spreading to your firebox, this is a sign of a potentially-dangerous amount of this byproduct in your chimney.
From the noticeable buildup of creosote inside your firebox to a difficulty in starting or maintaining a fire, there are several signs it is time to have your chimney professional swept. For more information, reach out to companies like Chimneys Unlimited.