Not usually a DIY chore, it’s best to hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep to tackle this job, recommends Ashley Eldridge, education director for Chimney Safety Institute of America. That’s because cleaning and inspecting chimneys involves a lot more than just sweeping soot.
How often should a chimney be inspected?
Every year. New wood-burning installations such as fireplaces or wood-burning stoves should be checked midway through the first heating season to confirm everything is working properly.
How often should a chimney be cleaned?
Cleaning should be done as necessary — normally when there’s a minimum 1/8-inch of deposit in the chimney. An annual inspection will determine if any sweeping or repairs are needed. In some cases, it’s necessary to sweep more than once a year, especially if the operator, the fuel or the venting system are not properly matched.
- The combustion process deposits an acidic material that weakens masonry or metal chimneys, causing them to deteriorate prematurely.
- Significant buildup of creosote, a flammable material resulting from incomplete combustion, may catch fire and spread to the attic and other areas of the home.
- If a chimney is used infrequently, critters and birds can collect and nest there, blocking the chimney. Leaves, twigs, pine cones and branches can obstruct the chimney, too.
- High winds or driving rain can also damage chimneys. CSIA recommends that, as a general rule, a chimney should have a rain cap to keep out animals and water as these are the primary reasons chimneys fail.
Read Full Article Here: Everything you Need to Know about Cleaning your Chimney and Fireplace