A dirty chimney is a safety hazard—for two reasons:
1. A dirty chimney traps harmful gasses in your home. When your chimney is dirty, it’s tough for carbon dioxide and other gasses in smoke to exit your home.
2. A dirty chimney is fire hazard. The black soot on the chimney walls can actually catch fire at one eighth of an inch in build-up and can ignite and cause a chimney fire.
Most chimneys should be cleaned at least once a year. Even if you do not use your fireplace often, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines state that all chimneys should be inspected annually.If you burn a half a cord of wood or more your chimney should be inspected on a yearly basis and swept when necessary. At Chicagoland Fireplace and Chimney Restoration, we develop a maintenance schedule for our customers based on their fireplace usage.
Definitely not, especially when it’s done by the expert professionals at Chicagoland Fireplace & Chimney Restoration. We are very careful to keep your house clean while cleaning the fireplace. We always use clean drop cloths and a large vacuum with a special filter that prevents soot from invading your clean house.
There are many possible reasons. An experienced sweep can help you figure it out. Homeowners should start by checking a few obvious things:
• Make sure the damper is all the way open. Look with a flashlight to make absolutely certain it is open all the way
• Make sure the fire is at the far rear of the fire-box. Most fireplaces will not work with the logs in the center of the hearth. That alone will make a HUGE difference
• Air pressure and down draft issues
Yes. Some gas logs produce a significant amount of sooty carbon deposits that should occasionally be removed from the chimney and logs.
• Sappy woods like pine and spruce produce creosotes (a dangerous sooty residue) and should be avoided.
• Never burn any type of painted wood that would give off toxic fumes.
• Avoid wood like plywood that is put together with glue.
• If you use paper to start a fire, avoid glossy paper or paper with color print.
• Large amounts of paper like Christmas wrapping should not be burned because it creates a large flame that can start a chimney fire.