A chimney sweep is a professional who inspects and cleans fireplaces, stoves, flues, and chimneys. They can also recommend repair services for your chimney, like new flashing or a better cap to prevent rodents and birds from entering.
Chimney sweeping can be messy, especially if the sweep needs to remove glazed creosote, which requires chemical treatment. This may extend the cleaning time and increase the cost of your service. Check for chimney sweep brainerd mn.
1. Cleaner and Longer Lasting
A chimney that is regularly cleaned and inspected will last longer than a chimney that is neglected. A professional cleaning usually only takes about an hour to clean a chimney from top to bottom.
Chimney sweeps use a variety of tools to clean the interior and exterior of your chimney and smoke shelf. They will also likely use a camera to check for damage. Before a chimney sweep arrives, you should move any furniture away from the fireplace and cover it with a drop cloth to prevent debris from spilling out of the fireplace.
You can help your chimney last longer by using a creosote log in between professional chimney sweep visits. Creosote logs are essentially a cleaning agent that loosens the soot on your chimney walls and lining, making it easier for the chimney sweep to remove.
2. Reduced Risk of Fire
Having your chimney regularly inspected & cleaned by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep reduces the risk of a chimney fire. A chimney fire can damage homes & even endanger the lives of those who live inside. It also creates harmful fumes such as carbon monoxide which are known to cause short-term or long-term health issues, including confusion, dizziness, drowsiness & headaches.
Creosote, which is formed from unburnt wood particles in the flue, is highly flammable. When a chimney is not properly maintained, it can cause creosote to build up over time & ignite if the flue reaches high enough temperatures. In addition to chimney fires, a dirty chimney can also lead to masonry & structural damage. It can also block the venting of dangerous carbon monoxide fumes into the home.
3. Reduced Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
A chimney that is not properly maintained can cause carbon monoxide to enter a home. This poisonous gas is odorless, tasteless and invisible and can be very deadly. Having your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep can ensure that your fireplace is functioning correctly. A clean chimney should vent smoke and gases out of the house, not back into it.
A dirty chimney can be obstructed by soot or nesting materials and prevent air from flowing through the flue properly. This can force smoke and carbon monoxide back into your living space where you and your family are relaxing. This puts you in danger of breathing the toxins and can cause health problems including headaches, dizziness, fatigue and even heart attacks.
4. Reduced Risk of Animals Being Trapped
Chimneys can be perfect spots for animals to nest or hide. Unfortunately, this can result in animals being trapped inside the chimney if the proper steps are not taken.
A common problem is birds. Birds often enter chimneys in search of a warm place to nest and raise their young until they are ready to fly away on their own. Raccoons are also known to live in chimneys, and they can be dangerous for homeowners and pets due to their aggressive nature. They can carry rabies, which is why it’s important to have them removed by professionals.
Chimney sweeps are trained to safely remove animals from the chimney. They may use a broom or brushes to scrape the walls of the chimney, and they will always make sure that the chimney is cooled before beginning the process.
5. Reduced Risk of Damage
When a chimney isn’t regularly cleaned, creosote can build up. This flammable material can cause chimney fires, which can put your home and its inhabitants in danger. It can also lead to hazardous fumes, such as carbon monoxide, entering the home.
A clean chimney can also help reduce foul odors that are caused by the accumulation of soot and creosote. It can also allow heat to circulate more efficiently, which will increase your comfort and energy efficiency.
Always hire a reputable chimney and masonry company with proper licensing and insurance. Also, beware of companies that try to scare you by showing photos of damaged and unclean chimneys. This is a common trick used by scammers to get homeowners to buy unnecessary chimney repair work.