As we get closer to using our fireplaces for the last time until fall, it is time to have a chimney sweep do some spring cleaning. Not only will we have better smelling homes, but whatever creosotes exist in the chimney will be gone. That leaves the home better protected against spring showers and summer downpours from thunder-busters in the late afternoon.
Spring Clean the Chimney
Most homeowners are aware of the dangers of creosote, the source of chimney fires that can burn the entire house down. They are unavoidable by-products of combustion and they exist in every used chimney in one form or another. They are also highly flammable and corrosive to flue liners, exposing them to moisture, which only complicates the problem further.
Most homeowners also wait until shortly before they are ready to light the first fire of autumn to do anything about them. That, however, is a mistake, because the creosote has six months to eat away at flue liners, exactly when more moisture is in the air. Instead, a professional should get them out of the chimney and inspect the liner shortly after the last fire of spring.
Don’t Play With Fire
The consequences of letting creosote live in the chimney throughout the spring and summer can be severe. So, too, can attempting to burn them off with a ‘controlled chimney fire’, which is just as likely to escape containment as those ‘controlled burns’ on public lands. Fire is not easy to control, and it is just not advisable to purposely start a chimney fire.
Rather than resorting to measures that can have disastrous results, a chimney cleaning and inspection should be a routine part of thorough spring cleaning. Protecting your home from creosote buildup needs to be done sooner rather than later, to prevent damage that can prove much more costly to correct. Spring cleaning the chimneys lets homeowners breathe a little easier in every way, and it is just an added bonus that the house will smell better