It is easy to neglect cleaning your chimney, especially if you don’t use it very often. However, failure to clean the chimney could be dangerous. Creosote, which is a byproduct of burning wood, can build up in the chimney. It is flammable, so a spark from the fireplace could start a chimney fire.
A chimney fire causes an explosion at which fire shoots out at both ends, and sometimes somewhere in the middle. Putting out the fire may cause the house to flood. To prevent this, pay attention to these signs that the chimney needs cleaning.
- No Air Flow up the Chimney
If the damper is open, you should be able to feel air moving up, especially on a windy day. If you cannot, the chimney is clogged and needs chimney soot removal Washington DC.
- Black Buildup on the Damper
Check the damper for buildup of a black, sticky material. This material is creosote and it needs to be removed in the interest of fire safety.
- Soot Falling From the Chimney
When you put firewood in the fireplace, you may notice black stuff falling down on top of it. It may be creosote, or it may be soot, but either way, it is a sign that your chimney needs to be cleaned.
- Odors From the Fireplace
You may assume that it is normal for your fireplace to smell like a campfire, but it is not. That smell comes from creosote, and it is a sign that your chimney needs cleaning.
- Fires That Are Hard To Start or Burn Poorly
Fires need oxygen to burn. If the chimney is so dirty as to be clogged up, it cuts off the oxygen supply. As a result, the fire may burn poorly or not ignite at all.
Creosote buildup is not the only possible cause of chimney fires. If animals make a nest or den in your chimney, they can block off the airflow and the nesting materials could ignite.