Don't Wait too Long without Cleaning your Chimney on the Northshore of Chicago
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  • What Could Happen if you go too Long without Cleaning your Chimney on the Northshore of Chicago

    What Could Happen if you go too Long without Cleaning your Chimney on the Northshore of Chicago


    “I rarely use my fireplace, so it only needs cleaning every few years or so.” That’s one of the biggest misconceptions out there concerning chimneys. There can be dire consequences for waiting too long between inspections, and here are just a few of the things that might happen.

    Minor Chimney Damage Might Become a Major Problem

    Most chimney problems start out as something small and then progress to become bigger issues. The odds that you will discover a chimney defect on your own is relatively small. Most chimney damage is first discovered during a routine inspection. If you have annual service, the odds that you will catch something before it becomes a bigger (and more expensive) repair is much greater.

    Negligence Increases your Fire Liability

    By putting off a chimney inspection, you greatly increase your risk of a fire. You may not think your chimney is dirty, but it may nonetheless be clogged with debris, animal nests, or even creosote. Trust us, you do not want to discover a clog the hard way. It’s better to find out about it before you have a fire, not afterwards.

    A chimney cleaning will significantly reduce the odds of a fire, but it will not completely eliminate the danger. In the unfortunate event you do still suffer a fire, proving diligence will become very important. Your insurance company may ask for proof of a recent cleaning before paying out any claims. If you are a landlord, you could be liable for your tenants’ injuries or personal property damage as well.

    Your Fireplace may not Operate Quite as Efficiently

    Regular cleanings and inspections keep your fireplace operating at peak efficiency. During an inspection, a technician will ensure the following are in top condition:

    • Chimney liner
    • Damper
    • Firebox
    • Smoke shelf
    • Ash dump
    • Hearth and hearth extension

    If any of these things are defective, you may notice a loss in efficiency or have other problems such as smoke permeating out into your room. A poorly-working fireplace can be messy and hardly worth the trouble to operate. As a result, you may decide to forego using it.

    A Dirty Fireplace can Stink

    Animal droppings, feathers, leaves, and even creosote can smell up your home, particularly if they get wet. Many times, our clients notice a strange odor, but can’t quite tell where it is coming from. It’s very difficult to cover up this smell, which tends to become stronger when it is raining outside. Don’t be embarrassed by a bad odor that stinks up your space. With a clean fireplace, all you will notice is the inviting smell of a crackling wood fire.

    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends having your chimney inspected at least once each year. However, you could need a cleaning more often if you are a heavy user. Anytime there is more than 1/8” of soot or a glazy film inside your firebox, you should have a cleaning performed. Sticking with this schedule will ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in your family.

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