A family seated near the fireplace with burning wood and a lightly smoking chimney on a cold winter night seems like the look out of a movie. But what goes into enjoying fireplace moments with the family? Definitely, a clean chimney.
More than 25,000 chimney fires erupt in the US every year causing insurance companies and families $100 million in damages. These fire eruptions can be prevented with a chimney cleaning routine alongside other precautions like using fire starters that are safe.
However, 5 out of 6 times, chimney fires start from an unclean chimney, bad cleaning practices, and deposits that have been building up or quick buildup because of frequent fireplace usage.
Cleaning the Chimney: What can go Wrong?
A lot can go wrong if you don’t know the repercussions of an unclean chimney or not cleaning a chimney the right way.
Before we get on to how to clean the chimney the right way, let’s understand all that can go wrong with it.
Using Chimney Sweeping Logs
Many people use chimney sweeping logs to save time and get rid of the creosote buildup. While these products are great for reducing the buildup, but if the cleaning is long overdue, these products can result in sheets of creosote to fall into the fireplace. If the fireplace is burning at that point, this could potentially start a fire.
If you are using the fireplace frequently, chances are that the creosote buildup is quick. Creosote also builds up rapidly if you are using firewood that has high moisture content.
And the creosote that goes up the chimney is flammable. So, when you start a fire, it does burn up the creosote on the walls of the chimney. If the layer is thick, the creosote burning inside the chimney could cause sparks that could even start a fire on the rooftop.
Ineffective DIY Cleaning Efforts
Many people purchase chimney cleaner kits or brushes to do the job themselves. While it is a good practice to frequently clean the chimney, a deep clean once a year is necessary to completely free it of creosote. Because if you have tried to clean a very unclean chimney yourself and some creosote buildup is left, chances are that it could burn and cause sparks to cause a fire.
DIY Cleaning a Chimney the Right Way
It is recommended that you call an expert like 4seasonsairduct for chimney cleaning and inspection at least once a year. For the rest of the year and when you are using the fireplace more frequently, you can also go for cleaning it yourself.
Follow the steps for a good chimney cleaning yourself:
Step 1: Make Sure to put up plastic or a cloth to cover the fireplace area since the creosote can drop down and ruin your flooring and furnishing. Put up a separate old cloth or tray to catch the creosote deposits as they fall.
Step 2: Climb to the top of the roof and unscrew to remove the chimney cap.
Step 3: Insert a cleaning brush from the top and turning the brush on the walls go downwards. Make sure you know the length of your chimney so you can get expandable rods which can cover the entire chimney.
Step 4: Once you have cleaned up the chimney walls clean up the fireplace area and dispose off the creosote particles.
Expert Chimney Cleaning Service in Baltimore Maryland
While cleaning the chimney yourself can be a rewarding experience, you do need an expert to inspect and clean your chimney for you. Experts at 4seasonsairduct have cleaning equipment that does not cause a huge mess when the chimney is deep cleaned.
The equipment includes a vacuum cleaner that suck up the stubborn creosote. It is not feasible to purchase cleaning equipment as the performance of the electronic equipment declines if not in frequent use.
Therefore, it is recommended that you leave the job of the experts to 4seasonsairduct, especially if you are looking for chimney inspection and cleaning services in the Baltimore, Maryland area.