After months of ice, snow, and freezing temperatures, spring weather is finally on the horizon. During this time of year, many homeowners plan spring cleaning projects to refresh and declutter their homes. This year, add a chimney sweeping to your spring cleaning list!
The spring is the perfect time to have your chimney swept. After a long winter of use, chimneys need to have soot, ash, and creosote removed. Likewise, chimney inspections can be performed to identify if your chimney was in any way damaged over the winter.
Winter weather and your chimney system
Although chimneys are built to last for decades on end and stand up against the elements, there are two things that can severely damage them in as little as one year: water and freezing temperatures. If water finds its way into the masonry of your chimney it can freeze and expand, creating gradually larger and larger holes and cracks. This freeze thaw process is extremely harmful to bricks and can cause them to crack, spall, and fall way from the chimney structure.
In addition, animals may have damaged your chimney structure without your knowledge. Many animals view chimneys as a warm place to hide from winter weather, and will attempt to “break in” by clawing, scratching, and biting chimney caps or flashing. Over time, this kind of damage can allow water into your chimney system, potentially damaging the flue lining, damper, interior walls and ceilings, and other parts of your fireplace and home.
The importance of chimney maintenance
Regular maintenance is one of the most important things homeowners can do to extend the life of their chimney systems. Chimneys are an appliance, and just like washers and ovens they need regular care and cleaning to work their best.
An annual chimney sweeping is extremely important in keeping your fireplace system in excellent working condition. According to National Fire Protection Association Standard 211, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”
The main purpose of a chimney cleaning is the removal of soot, ash, and creosote from the chimney structure. This greatly reduces the risk for chimney fire and helps your fireplace burn more efficiently. In addition, our sweeps take the time to ensure that none of your interior furnishings are damaged during the cleaning process.
Along with a chimney cleaning, a chimney inspection should also be performed each year. “A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the Chimney Safety Institute of America. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”
During a chimney inspection, which can be performed at the same time as a chimney sweeping, a certified technician will inspect and assess the interior and exterior portions of your fireplace and chimney. Doing this can help identify any new damage or deterioration before it turns into a major safety concern. In this way, an annual chimney sweeping and inspection can save you thousands of dollars on potential costly future repairs.
To schedule your spring fireplace sweeping, contact Mountain Man Fireplace and Chimney today. Our certified technicians can get your fireplaces cleaned and ready to use again for next fall.