Why do I need my chimney cleaned?
When you burn wood, the smoke goes through the chimney leaving behind soot and creosote. If this soot and creosote becomes too thick it could turn toxic. A dirty, damaged, or blocked chimney can lead to a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
When do I need to get my Chimney cleaned?
Approximately once a year depending on the amount of wood that is burned in the fireplace. It is always good to have a regular cleaning done especially when you use your fireplace all through the winter.
Creosote build up can cause many problems. Heavily glazed creosote inside a chimney is a big problem. When a chimney is like this and the home owner continues to burn wood. A chimney with glazed creosote is very difficult to clean out. Puffy creosote in a chimney is considerably easier to clean, but just as deadly as the heavy glazed creosote. It is imperative that you get your chimney cleaned because it could be a serious hazard as well as fire hazard to you and your household.
The chimney caps purpose is to protect your chimney from water as well as animals. Water can affect the mortar in the flue that keeps the flue together and also the outside masonry. If kept dry the chimney can stand for a hundred years or more, but if water penetrates the chimney, then it could fall apart in as little as five years. Animals getting inside the chimney can cause loud noise and odor. This is not good for the life of the chimney either. A chimney cap can make the difference. There are multiple models of caps. There is the full cap that completely covers the entire crown of the chimney. This will lower the maintenance needed for the chimney. There is also the standard cap which is most common. This cap simply covers the flue and prevents water and animals from penetrating the flue alone. This requires maintenance on the crown. Because the crown is not protected, when it cracks from natural expansion and contraction of the flue, it allows water to enter the chimney and affect the mortar joints as well as the bricks themselves. Another kind of cap is the T-Cap. This cap is shaped like a large “T”. This cap is to prevent a downdraft when the flue is too short or is not efficient enough to take all the smoke out of the fireplace. This cap also requires crown maintenance because it only covers the flue. These caps each have a different purpose but they all essentially do the same thing, they prevent water from penetrating the chimney.