When most people think of a chimney sweep, they typically think of the jolly character from Mary Poppins, or a similar comic relief character from an old movie. However, chimney sweeps still play an important role in keeping your home safe from smoke inhalation, nasty soot, and even house fires. While many people think that burning a special type of log once every two or three years is enough, the truth is that nothing can replace regular inspections and cleaning by a professional chimney sweep.
The Problem with Creosote Sweeping Logs
Many people may think that a creosote sweeping log can do the job of a more expensive chimney sweep service, but the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) says otherwise. In fact, this approach can leave your home vulnerable to the harmful effects of smoke and carbon monoxide, which are detrimental to both your family's health and the structure of your home, not to mention the smell that can linger for weeks. To avoid these potentially deadly consequences, the CSIA recommends burning creosote sweeping logs only in addition to regular inspections by a professional.
How Often Should I Have My Chimney Swept?
This question is rather difficult to answer, and the response varies based on how much you use your fireplace and what you burn in it. However, it is recommended that every chimney gets inspected at least once a year by a certified professional to check for air flow, leaks, and deposits. However, if you use your chimney more than once a week or so during the winter, then it might be a good idea to get your chimney looked at at the beginning and end of the season.
What Would Cause Me to Need a Thorough Inspection and Cleaning?
There are many warning signs as to when you should get your chimney inspected if you haven't done so in a while. A couple of these hints may come in the form of smoke in weird areas, such as coming from a different fireplace, or a strange smell, especially in the summertime when humidity and heat are high. Other things that may require you to get an inspection are the burning of anything but seasoned wood, like pizza boxes, certain types of paper, and other items.
While you may be most familiar with chimney sweeps in movies, the reality is that their services are vitally important for the health and safety of your home and family, and putting off these services can be extremely costly. If you have been relying solely on creosote sweeping logs or some other method to keep your fireplace clean, it is imperative that you schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection through a company like AAAA Dave's Chimney Service, so the fires stay in the fireplace and the smoke stays outside while your family huddles around the hearth this winter.