How a Dirty Chimney Could Start a House Fire
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  • How a Dirty Chimney Could Start a House Fire

    How a Dirty Chimney Could Start a House Fire


    We’ve all done. Sometimes, especially in the summer, we forgot about our chimneys and neglect to do a little bit of maintenance here and there. This might mean forgetting to clean it before the holiday season or not having it inspected at the appropriate intervals. What we don’t think about, however, is a dirty chimney can pose on your household. Turns out, if you don’t clean your chimney often enough, you run the risk of household fires.

    You might think cleaning your fireplace is just brushing away soot from the mantel or keeping branches off of your roof, but it takes professional know-how and equipment for a chimney to be truly clean.


    Creo-what? Creosote is a substance that sticks to the walls of your chimney after using the fireplace a few times. It’s sticky and black and looks something like tar. Creosote is a combination of oils, soot, and smoke. This material is highly flammable, so when it builds up in your chimney, the walls of your chimney can catch fire more easily that you would imagine. Creosote has a tendency to drip, and can make its way to the whole length of your chimney, so it’s best to have these substance cleaned off on a regular basis.

    According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, creosote buildup is more common when the fireplace or chimney are not well ventilated, firewood is unseasoned, or when the chimney is abnormally cold.

    You Might Have Fires without Knowing!

    Chimney fires are actually fairly common occurrence, but many homeowners have no idea that they’re having them. Once you’ve had a chimney fire, you’re at a higher risk for fires in the future, and damages to your chimney may cause the fire to spread to other parts of your home. When you have your chimney inspected, you want a CSIA certified company to look for signs of fire like abnormal patterns in the creosote, warped or cracked elements like the damper or flue, damages in the roof, or damages to satellites or antenna. If you notice these damages around your chimney or roof, it’s probably time to consult an expert.

    Not only do these fire damages put your home at risk for accidents, but you’ll also have to deal with repairs and maintenance that can be avoided if chimneys are inspected and cleaned properly on a regular basis.

    So How Do We Prevent These Occurrences?

    Have your chimney cleaned! At Lindemann, we recommend you have it cleaned about once a year or after 36 fires, whichever comes first. Of course, your chimney could be different, so it’s important that you have it inspected by a professional to get a clearer idea of when you should be cleaning your chimney.

    Don’t let chimney fires stop you from being cozy this winter! Keep an eye on your chimney and just call a CSIA certified technician if you notice anything out of the ordinary with your chimney or fireplace. If you can’t remember the last time you had your chimney cleaned, there’s no time to wait. If you live in the Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview or other surrounding Chicago areas give us a call for all your chimney needs.


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