Caring for Your Chimney

Winter is almost over, and the restorations team at Adam’s is looking forward to everyone putting away their space heaters and calling their chimney sweeps for an annual cleaning.

In spite of what most people think, the best time to have your chimney cleaned isn’t in the fall before the cooler weather. Chimney sweeps are booked solid in the fall, and you may have to wait weeks to have the work done.

In addition, if your chimney sweep finds anything of note which may need repair, you have a few months to decide the details of a repair operation.

It’s not just structural damage that might be the problem, either; creosote accounts for the majority of chimney fires. Creosote should be dealt with before it causes a chimney fire. In the majority of cases, there is no way for a homeowner to know the extent of their creosote. But it should not be ignored or left unattended.

One thing we know from the damage restoration business is that fire, treated with water from the fire trucks, creates a catastrophic mess.  Fire restoration, particularly when there is water damage, mold, and smoke damage, can be incredibly extensive. A fire in your chimney can spread to the roof, structure, and other surfaces.

We are fortunate in the Phoenix Metro area, because we use our fireplaces mostly for comfort, and don’t have the issues of snow and freezing weather. But, the lack of those elements shouldn’t make us any less diligent when it comes to our chimney cleaning chores.

A big chimney fire has been described as sounding like a jet or a freight train. A small chimney fire may go undetected. This doesn’t mean it won’t cause damage. The damage isn’t usually noticed until a chimney inspection. In addition, if a family doesn’t use a chimney one year, they may think the chimney doesn’t need to be inspected the following year, however, this isn’t the case.  Many times, birds, bats, or small rodents may make a nest in the chimney. Sometimes, a chimney sweep will even find a dead cat. All of these can cause a chimney fire when the homeowner decides to use it.

So, now that you’re using the last of the firewood, or making your plans for a week at the beach, take another moment and make an appointment with your chimney sweep. You can find a chimney sweep by contacting the Chimney Safety Institute of America here.