The Importance of Regular Chimney Inspections

It’s coming to that time of year when warm evenings by the fireplace are totally irresistible. However, it’s important that you take the time to ensure your fireplace is as safe as it is inviting.

A report carried out by the National Fire Protection Association indicates that a leading cause contributing to home heating fires was failure from homeowners to clean their chimneys. It doesn’t tend to be a do-it-yourself chore, so, with this in mind, it’s best to hire a certified chimney sweep for any inspection or maintenance.

When many of us think of chimney sweeps, most likely an image is conjured up of a soot-covered child from the midst of the Victorian age. Chimney sweeping is an old profession. Records of people earning their living by cleaning chimneys goes all the way  back to the 16th century.

Moreover, in an age where modern conveniences such as central heating have pretty much replaced the one time ubiquitous coal and wood fires that were once used to bring warmth into  homes, you could justifiably assume that chimney sweeps is no longer existence. This, however, is simply not true. Chimney sweeps are not the outdated profession most people imagine it to be, this is in fact a very contemporary and in demand trade.

If you are one of the many people in the UK who have a functioning coal or wood fire in your Property, it may be of interest to familiarise yourself with a modern day chimney sweep company.

Old-fashioned fireplaces are becoming increasingly in demand in homes, and for a valid reason: a properly restored fireplace adds huge amounts of character to any room, and, if it is maintained and well taken care of, it can be a wonderful source of central heating during the winter months. However, the pro-points of having a proper real coal or wood fire in your home can be balanced by dedicating more time and money to making sure that your fireplace functions both safely and efficiently.

The National Association of Chimney Sweeps highlights the main purpose of the modern chimney sweep as aiding in the prevention of chimney fires and reduce the risk of dangerous fume emissions from blocked heating appliances, flueways and chimneys.

This blog will  outline the importance of regular chimney inspections and explain how a chimney sweep could help you to maintain a safer, more efficient fireplace.

Why are fireplace inspections important?

Your fireplace can be so easily overlooked since you can’t really see directly inside there everyday! This issue is also that you are also unable to see how much dirt and creosote can buildup.

Realising the best ways to clean your fireplace and chimney is crucial to the safety of those in your home, especially if you use your fireplace on a regular basis. Chimney cleaning and preservation is so important. Over periods of time, with the continuous usage of your fireplace, creosote and soot can build in your chimney. These creosote and soot build ups are flammable and could potentially cause a fatal house fire. Various dangers consist of removing any debris and birds’ nests which could have additionally have also accumulated in your flue. Whether it’s creosote, soot or a different type of debris in your chimney, any of these things bring their own set of issues, this is due to the fact  that they can obstruct the release of smoke from your fireplace. These obstacles could cause a fire hazard, a buildup of carbon monoxide, or excessive smoke stages in your home. It’s crucial that you get your fireplace chimney properly inspected and cleaned annually to save your fireplace chimney from various hazards.

In addition to this having your fireplace and chimney regularly inspected has other additional benefits such as:

Your Chimney will work efficiently

If your chimney is not properly cared for, it will not function as it should. It’s important to make sure there is no debris obstructing the airflow to  the chimney. Wood that has excessive moisture content creates excess smoke and steam in the firebox, this in turn makes it highly essential to have the necessary air flow. Animal nests, twigs, leaves, and different particles can make an obstruction for your chimney, decreasing the air quality indoors and expose occupants to carbon monoxide.

The fireplace chimney specialist will go on to  inspect, clean, and safely clear any debris caused by animal activity or adverse weather. Installing a chimney cap is a way of assisting with blocking particles and increased moisture from making its way into the flue, moreover, all of this will need to be cleared yearly.

Extend Your Fireplace Chimney’s Life

Maintaining and caring for your fireplace chimney increases the life of your fireplace, stove, chimney and could in turn save your home. Despite chimneys being constructed to withhold destructive factors, they do deteriorate if they have not been adequately cleaned. Moreover, immoderate moisture, strong winds, and hail can increase structural injury to the masonry that increase the process of deterioration. Several troubles with the flue liner, chimney cap, vents, leaks, and other issues can evolve into additional issues, which can be expensive to repair.

Further benefits of hiring a professional chimney sweep?

A quality chimney sweep will have the necessary training and experience to realise any issues which may in turn lead to chimney fires any inefficient burning and will be able to bring these problems to your attention.

Many chimney sweeps will also look at your chimney for any problems from the roof. Even if you have a clue about what to look for, it may be problematic, or possibly dangerous, for you to carry this out yourself. It is also likely that your untrained eye will notice more subtle problems, such as signs of freeze-thaw weather. If a problem is noticed early, it will probably be easier, and cheaper, to fix.

It is also makes much more sense to use the services of a professional to carry out what will most likely be a time consuming, physically demanding and messy job off your hands. Using  a professional will also bring you the clarity of knowing that any issues haven’t just been overlooked and that your chimney is fully functioning and well-maintained.

How often should I have my chimney cleaned?

At the minimum, once a year. Chimney sweeps often advise that chimneys should be cleaned after a long period of prolonged disuse, for example, over the summer. A great deal of people also recommend that the chimneys should be cleaned before the end of the heating season to make sure that the chimney is clear of animal nests and prepared for the subsequent quiet period.

If a chimney is used frequently, it may be called for it to be swept more often. A professional chimney sweep firm would be able to offer guidance on the optimum cleaning schedule for your chimney.

Some top tips for fireplace owners:

  • It is much more favourable to burn hardwoods than softwoods. Not just because hardwoods burn slower, making them more economical, they also make the fire burn warmer. This decreases the amount of creosote deposited inside the chimney, which will help keep your chimney cleaner for longer. Reducing the amount of this flammable substance inside your chimney also has considerable safety benefits.
  • Don’t use artificial logs.
  • Get yourself a good guard for your fireplace. A fire with a well-functioning chimney is still unsafe if sparks from the fireplace come into contact with a carpet or furniture.

Here at Fireplace & Furnishings, we offer a fantastic choice of fires & fireplaces, contact the Fireplace Superstore in Cheadle Hulme. We are the leading fireplace and stove store in the Wilmslow and Cheshire area. You can discover over 150 live displays at our showroom and get professional guidance from our knowledgeable team. To find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our  friendly team.

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