person cleaning chimney

Coming Clean: Signs You Need a Chimney Sweep

It’s not easy to keep up with all the recommended home maintenance tasks you’re supposed to do. Some tasks, such as washing the siding or edging the flower beds, can be put off indefinitely for the busy homeowner or renter who doesn’t have time to spend on curb appeal. However, some home maintenance tasks are a matter of safety rather than aesthetics. One of these safety-related tasks is scheduling regular chimney cleaning. Keep reading to learn about the signs you need your chimney cleaned.

You’ve Let Over 1 Year Pass

If it’s been a while, it’s time to have your chimney cleaned by a chimney professional. According to the National Fire Protection Association, you should schedule chimney cleaning at least once per year to avoid house fires. It’s also smart to book cleaning yearly so that you can ensure the chimney inspection catches small issues before they become larger — and cost more to fix.

You’ve Had Animal Activity

Another one of the big signs you need your chimney cleaned is if you’ve dealt with animal activity in the past or you’re noticing it now. Birds, rodents, insects, and other critters can take up residence in your chimney to seek respite from the cold winter weather. Unfortunately, animal nests pose a huge fire hazard, and animal droppings are highly flammable. If you notice or suspect animal activity, contact our qualified chimney sweeps in Cherry Hill, NJ, as soon as possible. We’ll help safely remove any unwelcome guests so you can begin using your chimney once again.

Your Chimney Is Dirty

If you were to ask the average homeowner to list off signs you need your chimney cleaned, a dirty chimney would be at the top of the list. While this may sound too simple, it’s actually very true. The sootier and dirtier your chimney gets, the greater the risk it poses to your family and property’s health and safety. If you’d like to light a fire in your fireplace but notice a buildup of soot and dirt, don’t ignore the signs that your chimney needs professional attention and call right away for service.

Your Fires Are Weak

One common chimney and fireplace issue that we hear from clients is that their fires are weak or less powerful than they used to be. Weak fires can indicate your chimney is clogged, your flue is blocked, or there’s another problem going on. This is more than just an annoyance while you’re trying to roast hot dogs over the fire; it’s also one of the signs you need your chimney cleaned. 

You See Creosote Deposits

Creosote is a mineral buildup that occurs in chimneys that are especially sooty and dirty or have had chimney fires in the past. It is created when burned wood accumulates inside the walls of your chimney and reacts to smoke and heat over time. Because creosote is extremely flammable, it’s very important to watch out for this black or brown “honeycomb-like” residue. Noticing a layer of creosote buildup is one of the most urgent signs you need your chimney cleaned.

Your Fireplace Smells… Funny

A funny-smelling fireplace isn’t just one of the signs you need your chimney cleaned; it can also be a health hazard. A blocked or poorly ventilated chimney can result in fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, or exposure to other deadly chemicals. If you smell gas, smoke, or soot coming from your fireplace even though you haven’t lit a fire, call for emergency chimney repair services ASAP, and do not get near the chimney or light a fire until you’ve been cleared to do so.

You’ve Had a Chimney Fire

A fire… in your chimney? Don’t fires burn in chimneys all the time? You’d be forgiven for thinking this common misconception is true, but in fact, chimney fires are another one of the signs you need your chimney cleaned. Fires are supposed to happen in the fireplace, not the chimney. If a fire started in your chimney recently, or you suspect you’ve had fires burning inside your chimney in the past, it’s time to call chimney service professionals for a thorough cleaning and analysis. If there are other problems, it may be worthwhile to have them take the time to evaluate if your chimney needs repointing or other structural repairs.

Don’t Ignore the “Smoking Gun”

If you notice these or other signs you need your chimney cleaned, don’t put your loved ones or home in danger. Contact Davis Brothers Chimney Sweep and Masonry, and we’ll make sure your chimney is safe to use and enjoy once again.