How To Tell If Your Chimney Needs Cleaning
So you own a chimney or fireplace and are wondering how to tell if it needs cleaning. Well, as a professional chimney service company, we can help you recognize some of the most common signs of when you need to get it cleaned.
Your Fireplace Dumps Smoke Back Into Your House
This is usually the first sign that homeowners recognize when they need a chimney sweep. Funny thing, it's one of the last signs to find, but it's the most obvious. When you operate your fireplace and see smoke pushing into the home, there's strong change the chimney is blocked and needs to be cleaned. Usually blockage comes from soot or animals and both should be remedied quickly.
You See Black Soot All Over Your Damper
When you look directly above the fireplace from inside, you'll see the damper. If you wipe your finger and see a thick coat of black soot all over the damper, that's a strong sign you need to have it cleaned. That black soot is also all throughout your chimney stack and can lead to dangerous situations in the future.
You Smell Odors From Your Fireplace When Not In Use
If you are noticing a burning smell or some other awkward smell coming from your fireplace when you're not using it, that's a big sign it needs cleaning. The smell can be soot or even a dead animal which both can cause issues for you using the chimney and fireplace next time. Odors should always rise up out of the stack, so if you're smelling them in the house without a fire, it's clogged.
You See Oily Spots On Your Fireplace Walls
If you look at your fireplace (when it's not in use) and notice some dark and oily substances building up on the walls, that's called creosote. It's a tar-like substance that builds up all throughout the chimney stack and can prevent proper airflow. If the buildup gets significant, it can even lead to chimney fires. So if you see these oily spots, it's time to clean your chimney and fireplace. Or at the very least, have it inspected by someone like Milwaukee Chimney Repair Pros.
Can you clean a chimney on your own? Of course you can. You need to start at the top and get a long device that can reach down and literally sweep inside. Is it ideal to DIY something like this? Our opinion is that it's not. Chimney fires are a real thing and they cause serious damage to homes. And our chimney sweep services are quite inexpensive considering it's usually an annual cost.