There are hundreds of thousands of residential fires in North America every year. More than 22,000 of those annual fires are caused by fireplaces or chimneys. While fireplaces make homes very cozy, they also present a very real danger. Keeping your home safe while enjoying relaxing fires requires several important steps. One important step is having a professional chimney inspection. An inspection can identify if your chimney is at risk of creating a fire. Here’s everything you need to know about getting your chimney looked at.
Common Chimney Dangers
When you start a fire, smoke travels up the chimney and out of your home. During this journey, some of the smoke will stay behind in the form of soot. Over time, soot can accumulate to the point of creating a blockage. Burning wood in a fireplace can cause creosote to accumulate inside a chimney. This substance is highly flammable. Both soot and creosote can create a dangerous environment in a chimney. Once debris has accumulated inside, all it takes is a stray spark or enough heat to start a fire. The fire can then spread from the chimney and across the entire structure of a home.
The Why and When of a Professional Chimney Inspection
Although chimney fires cause millions of dollars in damage every year, most are preventable. Protecting your home starts with scheduling a professional chimney inspection. During an inspection, a skilled technician will visually assess your fireplace and chimney. The technician will look at the overall condition, as well as specific issues that can increase the risk of a fire. After the inspection is complete, you’ll have a clear understanding of any fireplace or chimney issues that need to be addressed. An inspection can also identify if you need to consider a chimney rebuild or repair.
Fire safety organizations recommend getting an annual chimney inspection. It’s best if you can schedule an inspection prior to using your fireplace again before cold weather arrives.
How to Clean Your Chimney
Most chimneys require more frequent inspections than cleanings. The general recommendation for when to clean is if a chimney has at least 1/8 inch of soot buildup. A chimney should also be cleaned if it has any visible glaze of creosote. Due to the materials handled during a cleaning, this process should only be completed by a trained professional. A professional cleaning will include the chamber, damper, and flue of your fireplace. Soot, creosote, and any other debris will be carefully removed. Protective measures will be taken to prevent debris particles from spreading through your home.
Scheduling a Professional Cleaning or Chimney Sweep
For most homes, a full cleaning can be done in just a few hours. Getting your chimney cleaned will provide peace of mind for your home’s safety. A professional cleaning will also ensure that your chimney is able to run efficiently. The investment you make in cleaning will pay off every time you use your fireplace.
Qualicum Beach Masonry & Chimney Services Ltd. is proud to provide over 40 years of experience to our Vancouver Island customers. Do your home a favor and get a chimney sweep in Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose bay area, Coombs, or Port Alberni.
To schedule your chimney inspection or cleaning, contact us online or give us a call at 250-752-1111.