If you have a wood stove or a fireplace that you use for heat during the winter, then you should know that maintenance is imperative when it comes to ensuring the safety of your family. Chimney inspections should be completed annually and so should cleaning services. While it may be a pain to have the service completed so often, there are some clear benefits to investing in the cleaning.
Reduction In Fire Risks
When you burn wood, the fuel does not completely convert to heat. Some of the fuel is left behind in the form of waste. The waste is an oily smoke that leaves your home through the chimney. And, some of the oily remnants cling to the inside of the chimney and create a thick accumulation of material called creosote. The creosote is more likely to form when wood is burned at a low temperature. However, even if you burn wood at a higher temperature, the material will still form over time.
Creosote not only stops the natural flow of smoke out of the chimney. Its formation is actually quite dangerous, as it is highly flammable. An errant spark can easily set the waste aflame and cause a fire in the chimney itself. And, the thicker the creosote, the more likely it is to start on fire. So, it is wise to have the material removed regularly for the health and well-being of your family.
In addition to removing the creosote, your chimney cleaning services professional can let you know how much of the waste has formed. This way, you can look at the way you use your fireplace or wood stove and change your practices accordingly.
Reduction In Damage
The vast majority of chimneys are masonry constructions that are decades old. And, while they are meant to withstand a great deal of wear and tear, they do need to be cared for to prevent the formation of cracks and general deterioration. Cracking is something that can occur when moisture builds up within the masonry bricks and cannot be dispelled through evaporation. Under normal circumstances, the airflow through the chimney allows for this. However, when thick layers of creosote cover the bricks, airflow is stunted.
When you do have your chimney cleaned out, ask your cleaning specialist to conduct a visual inspection as well. This way, if you have been lax on the cleaning or care, you can get cracks and other damage repaired as soon as possible.