Do I really need my chimney cleaned? I barely use it!
So, how does a chimney sweep answer this one? The correct answer is simply put: The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”
This is the national safety standard and is the right way to approach the problem. That takes into account the fact that even if you barely use your chimney or not all problems will still arise. Animals may build nests (and many times do) and there are other types of deterioration that may make the chimney unsafe to use.
So how do we know?
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be cleaned or swept at 1/8 inch of sooty buildup. Why? This is considered to be enough creosote or unburned smoke buildup to cause a chimney fire. The chimney fire is hot enough to damage the chimney or spread to the home. 0-clearance or factory-built fireplaces should be cleaned when any amount of buildup occurs. The reason being is that the deposit is very acidic and can shorten the life of the fireplace.
Does this make sense to you? Call us to hear directly from the professionals.
“The Chimney Pro”