Chimney Cleaning: When is the Right Time?

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-ee!

You don’t have to be a Disney movie chimney sweep to know that taking care of your chimney should be an annual priority. Many of us don’t think about the fireplace until the temperatures dip in the fall and winter. When is the right time for chimney cleaning? Here are a few things to keep in mind. 

Have an Annual Inspection 

Getting your chimney inspected should be an annual thing. You’ll learn if you have problems such as the buildup of creosote, which can cause a chimney fire.  An inspection will also discover nests or leaf build-up near the top of the chimney, which could cause trouble if you light a fire.

Gas fireplaces have a reputation of being easier to maintain, and for the most part, it’s true. While you won’t get the buildup of creosote, it’s still worth your time and money to have your chimney inspected to ensure there aren’t any hidden problems. 

The Signs Your Chimney Needs Service

There are several signs to watch out for to tell you when your chimney needs to be cleaned. For a woodburning fireplace, they include: 

  • The smell of campfire even when you don’t have a fire going. 
  • Your fire is slow to start. 
  • You see smoke in the room after lighting a fire. 
  • There are black, oily marks in your fireplace surround: this is a sign of creosote buildup. 
  • You hear animals in your chimney. 

If you experience any of these problems, call a professional right away. 

The Best Time of Year 

In Atlanta, it can feel like the temperature will never cool down. When you finally experience the crisp autumn air, you will want that cozy fireplace feeling in your home. Many people will wait until then to even think about having their chimney inspected, but if there’s a problem, it could be a while before you can use your chimney. 

Instead, consider getting your inspection in the summer before the fireplace rush of fall and winter. 

The Effects of Not Cleaning Your Chimney 

While some of the problems listed above are a pain to deal with, all of them are small things compared to the worst-case scenario if you don’t clean your chimney regularly. We mentioned that a chimney fire was a potential issue if you used your fireplace without ensuring it was in proper working order. While you may be able to put out a small fire in other parts of your home with a fire extinguisher, you won’t be so lucky with a fire in your chimney. 

When a chimney fire starts, it mimics an explosion with flames reaching out the top of the home and back into your living space through the fireplace itself. The fire department will need to put out the fire through the top of the chimney, which will result in added flood damage on top of the fire damage. 

Do you dream of a home with a crackling fireplace when it’s cold outside? 

Maison Atlanta & Co is a full-service real estate company with over 100 years of combined experience buying and selling homes in any market. As a member of Compass, Maison Atlanta and Co has innovation and technology at our fingertips to help our clients meet and exceed their real estate goals and expectations. Call us today.