How Can I Tell if My Chimney Needs Cleaning?

Updated: Jan 24

Do you ever ask yourself, how can I tell if my chimney needs cleaning? It’s a common question for anyone with a fireplace. The answer is not as simple as the question, however. There are a few different factors that tell you that your chimney is ready for a good cleaning. Some of them have to do with use, while others have to do with the time of year or the house itself. There are many things to consider prior to getting a chimney cleaning. Here are some of the best factors to use as your baseline.

When You Ask, How Can I Tell if My Chimney Needs Cleaning, Know How to Answer Yourself

There are several things to consider when it comes to cleaning your chimney. First, how often is it used? If you use your chimney regularly, then you should also clean it regularly. If you only use it sporadically, then you may only need to clean it every year or every other year. What you want to do is look for signs of buildup in your chimney. This is the most important determining factor. Whenever you see the equivalent of one-eighth of an inch of buildup on the inside of your chimney, stop using it. Get it cleaned prior to using it again.

Also, you also want to make sure you are using your chimney properly. If there is a mismatch between the components anywhere in your fireplace or chimney system, you will need to clean it more often. For example, if your chimney is smaller than it should be for your fireplace, it will get a residue build up faster. This means you should clean it every couple of months instead of waiting longer. If your inspection says your chimney is dirty, you should have it cleaned then as well, prior to its next use.

Moving Into a New Home is Another Good Factor to Consider

Buying a new home or moving into a new rental with a fireplace is another factor. Asking yourself, how can I tell if my chimney needs cleaning, is not important in this case. You should always clean it out prior to using it in these circumstances. The only exception is if you are shown a receipt of it being done recently. You never know how it was maintained prior to you moving in. Some people are very good at taking care of a fireplace and make sure to clean it out regularly. Other people are unaware of the dangers that can come from an unkempt fireplace. Not everyone is aware of the problems fireplaces can pose.

You need to make sure that you have someone come out and inspect your home prior to using a fireplace if it sat for some time, too. What you want to do is make sure nothing called your chimney home. Even though you may have had your home winterized or closed up carefully, it doesn’t mean a critter did not make his or her way into the chimney. It is a safe, secure, and often warm place for things like raccoons and squirrels to call home. The remnants of their nests need to be cleaned out before you use the fireplace, or else it could start a fire.

It Is Never Worth the Risk to Go Without a Chimney Cleaning

There are too many dangers that can come along with neglecting to clean your chimney. Not only does it pose a fire risk, it can also pose a health risk. You need to make sure you go in and clean out your chimney regularly. Whenever you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it is time to call in the pros to help you out. You never want to go without a good chimney cleaning. It is simply not worth that type of risk.

Knowing How Can I Tell if My Chimney Needs Cleaning is Only Part of the Solution

Not only should you be able to answer, how can I tell if my chimney needs cleaning, but you should also be able to know who can do this type of job. Chimney cleaning is not a DIY project. It is dangerous, because if you do it wrong, it can hurt multiple aspects of your home. Not only could it damage your chimney itself, but it could also hurt the people inside your home. If you were to knock the creosote into your fireplace, it could start a big fire the next time you use the fireplace. Plus, if you were to knock anything else down, it could stop up the chimney. This could make it to where next time you had a fire, the smoke and fumes stayed in the house. This is never a good option and makes this a job for professionals only.

When you have decided it is time to get your chimney cleaned, we can help. Reach out to us here at On Top Service, by calling (972)877-2176 today. Ask us, how can I tell if my chimney needs cleaning, and let us answer that for you!


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