Why clean your chimney regularly
As you snuggle before the warm heat of a fire from the wood stove enjoying a comfort passed down through the centuries, the last thing anyone thinks about is the state of their chimney. However, if you neglect your chimney for long enough, your enjoyment could be rudely cut short since dirty chimneys can cause fires, which destroy homes and structures and even kill or seriously injure people. After using a chimney for long enough, there is usually a buildup of contaminants and soot in the chimney called creosote, which can burst into flames at any moment putting your property and family at risk. The best way to minimize such risks is by employing the services of a chimney sweep company in Gauteng.
The following are the benefits of chimney cleaning
A clean chimney keeps your family and home safe from chimney fires: You need the chimney as it is a critical component of your ventilation system that takes out toxins, fumes, and smoke from your stove and out of the house.
- Be on the right side with your insurance – Most insurance companies require that you sweep your chimney at least once a year for your home insurance to remain valid.
- Save money on heating – A dirty chimney makes for a very inefficient fireplace which burns more wood, due to the chimney not providing sufficient ventilation.
- Avoid expensive chimney repair jobs – The buildup of creosote inside your chimney will eventually degrade your masonry, damper, flue line and smoke shelf, which can be very expensive to replace or repair. Chimney cleaning on the regular reduces the wear and tear on these components making them last longer.
When should you clean your chimney?
While many chimney sweeping companies will recommend at least one cleaning in a year, you may need more than that depending on how much you use the chimney or the type of fuel and lighter you use for your fires. Nonetheless, you can tell that your chimney needs some cleaning if you see any of the following signs:
- The room becomes smoky once you light up your fireplace
- Sooty deposits on your walls and furniture
- A rush of cold air or bad odors coming into the house from the chimney when it is not lit.
- The chimney is full of debris, leaves, and nests of small animals.
- Difficulty getting the fire to burn as bright as you want or even starting it up.
Causes of a Blocked Chimney
Many household chimneys will develop a blockage at one time or another due to the buildup of fire residue. A blockage is dangerous as it can result in poor ventilation that results in smoky fires that can cause carbon monoxide positioning as well as producing other toxic fumes. While residue buildup is typically the main culprit in blocked chimneys the following are some other causes:
- Small animal debris and nests of birds that clog up the chimney.
- Poor chimney design that has the chimney too low, that it is inefficient at ventilating the fire.
- Loss or destruction of the chimney cap resulting in the buildup of falling debris such as twigs and leaves in the chimney shaft.
- The buildup of creosote due to long periods of not cleaning making the shaft too narrow for the draft to work as it should.
Chimney fires can be dramatic and noisy enough and could burn explosively that they shoot dense smoke and flames from their tops while making low rumbling sounds resembling a low flying airplane or a freight train. Chimney fires are a dangerous consequence of not cleaning your chimney regularly. The high temperatures of a chimney fire can result in:
- Damaged or melted roofing
- Collapsed or cracked tile flue lining
- Melted mortar
- Damaged or warped metal flue lining
- House fire if the heat gets to combustible elements of the house
- Carbon monoxide poisoning from cracked tile or metal flue lining.
Creosote and Chimney Fires
The major cause of chimney fires is the buildup on the chimney shaft of a brown-black, flaky tar-like sticky substance known as creosote, that is highly combustible. While any amount of creosote can catch fire, it becomes a matter of concern if the buildup is big enough that it could sustain a huge destructive chimney fire. Creosote buildup is typically a result of cooler than normal chimney temperatures, using unseasoned wood, and restricted air supply.
Why you should use our chimney sweep services
There are many advantages to working with a professional chimney cleaning in Gauteng including:
- Better expertise at inspections and diagnostics of any problems with your chimney – We have professionals that have the qualifications and training to work with all types of chimneys and make them safe and comfortable to use again.
- Better peace of mind and long lasting work – Given our experience, we do the work right so that you can rest assured that you will not be cleaning the chimney earlier than scheduled, even as it remains safe and clean for the period.
- Right tools and equipment – We have modern tools and equipment that make sure that we do a thorough sweep of your chimney taking care of all the debris and creosote, leaving your chimney safe to use.
- Saves you time and money – While you could decide to go DIY, you do not have the necessary tools and experience and may likely take too much time and not even do a good job. With a professional, you get experience and equipment and never have to worry about us doing a shoddy job.
- Professionals clean up after themselves – You do not have to bother with ash and soot going onto your walls and furniture that you have to clean up as we have procedures in place to prevent making any mess. Moreover, we clean up any soot and debris leaving your house clean.