When something like a car has issues, you typically know right away. When it’s something like your chimney, you may have difficulty noticing if there is a problem. It’s that time of year again where fireplaces will be in full force. Your chimney must be in perfect shape to keep you and your home safe. Here are some ways to tell if your chimney needs to be cleaned:
Buildup of Creosote
If you burn a fire and notice a weird smell, it could be creosote buildup in your chimney. This smell can still be noticeable even after you think you cleaned the fireplace, it’s something to do with the chimney. Creosote is a by-product of burning fires in your fireplace, and it should be cleaned every year – especially if you are an avid user of your fireplace. Moisture from the logs burning will travel up the chimney and stick to the walls.
Birds and other smaller animals get into chimneys more often than you think. This can happen when your chimney cap isn’t shut or when you don’t have one at all. Small animals can easily get in, but they have a tough time getting out. Chimneys are the perfect place for birds and animals to live and start families. If you sense a weird smell coming from your fireplace, you may need to have it cleaned out for animals. A lot of the time, you will even find dead animals in there. It’s sad, but it happens often.
Excess Smoke In Your Fireplace
If you have a lot of smoke when you burn a fire, that can be a sign to have your chimney cleaned. Excess smoke can signal that there is a blockage somewhere in the chimney. It can also mean the opening in the chimney is clogged by grime, soot, or creosote. Your chimney won’t be as effective unless you get it cleaned out.
If you have a lot of black material in your fireplace, that could be soot. Soot is what happens before creosote forms. Soot isn’t too hard to clean out of a fireplace, but you definitely should get it done before a long winter of use.
Contact New England Hearth & Home
New England Hearth & Home is here to help you with all things fireplace! We can take care of your yearly cleaning and any other maintenance on your fireplace. Contact us to talk to one of our experts about anything you need to be done to your fireplace. Call us today or fill out our online request form to get in touch.