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How to Know if Your Fireplace Needs Cleaning

Fireplace cleaning needs to be done for quite a few reasons. Not only does it improve the look, but it also prevents house fires or smoke from filling up your home. Before you light your fireplace for the first time this season, you should consider getting fireplace cleaning. If you don’t think you need it to be done, there are some signs you should pay attention to.

Even if you didn’t use your fireplace much in the previous year, it’s still important to be as clean as possible. If one part of your home needs to be cleaned, it’s the chimney. The thick soot that can build up can mingle with combustion gases and outdoor elements, causing bad air in the home. You will properly maintain your fireplace and enjoy its function through fireplace cleaning.

Signs That You Need Fireplace Cleaning

It Smells Like Campfire

If you light a fire in your fireplace and it smells like a campfire, this indicates a build-up inside. You may even smell it when there’s no fire lit at all.

Fire Burns in an Odd Way

If you light a fire and the flames seem to struggle or generally don’t burn to their full potential, it’s a sign that you need fireplace cleaning.

The Fire Is Hard to Start

If you have a hard time starting a fire and it’s hard to keep it going, this can indicate that your chimney is clogged and very little air is getting through. As fire needs oxygen, it will not be able to sustain itself if there isn’t enough.

Smoke Fills the Room

If you get smoke in the room even when the flue is open, this is a major sign that you must get the fireplace cleaning done. The air can become hazardous, making it hard for people in the home to breathe.

The fireplace Damper is Blackened

If you have a black damper, creosote has built up. In the early stages of build-up, it’s soft and flaky, but when you leave it for a long time, it becomes hard and shiny and will cling onto the surface like tar. Once it’s gotten to this point, removal is almost impossible, but a professional fireplace cleaning may be able to help.

Animals Are Living in the Chimney

When you haven’t used your fireplace in a few months, animals may move in and nest. You will probably be able to hear them. Birds and squirrels may build a nest, which needs to be removed if you’re going to start a fire.

How Often Should You Get Your Chimney Cleaned?

There are a few different theories on how often fireplace cleaning should be done. The chimney safety associations suggest that cleaning should occur once there’s ⅛’ of creosote built inside the chimney. Other authorities suggest that fireplace cleaning should occur at least once a year regardless of the condition and amount you use. Wood-burning fireplaces should be cleaned once a clear.

The best time to do it is in the spring or autumn. If animals have decided to nest throughout the summer, cleaning is good to eliminate anything in the chimney before the cold days. You need to clean gas fireplace chimneys once a year as well. While they won’t see any soot or creosote build-up, animal nests and debris can get caught in the chimney.

How Often Should Fireplace Cleaning Take Place?

While there isn’t a specific agreement on how often you need to clean a fireplace, there are some surefire signs. Some may say you should get a cleaning after 50 uses or perhaps every year. What’s more important to consider is how your home feels when you have your fire going. It’s also important to look at the creosote build-up. If there is a lot of build-ups, it can lead to more smoke in your home and even a chimney fire. When your chimney is clean, you can provide good combustion air, encouraging a hot and clean fire.

How to Check for Creosote

You can regularly check to see what the creosote build-up is like. You want to ensure there isn’t a downdraft from the chimney first. If there’s any airflow, open a door or window on the same floor until there is no downdraft or it reverses. The easiest way to do this is to tape a tissue to the fireplace open and see where it blows. Take your fireplace poker and scratch the black area above the smoke chamber. If you scratched a paper-thin groove, it’s unnecessary to clean it. You’ll want to have a fireplace cleaned soon if it’s ⅛” or more. If it’s ¼” or more, you should not use the fireplace until it’s been cleaned.

How fast your chimney gets depends on many factors. The best rule of thumb is to do a surface clean after every usage to avoid major build-up. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you should clean the area where the wood burns to help give you a quality fire every time. Vacuum and sweep it regularly for the best results. Then generally, every year, you’ll want to get a professional fireplace cleaning to get rid of creosote. This will prevent the deterioration of your fireplace and protect your investment.

If you are searching for professional cleaning services Oakville. Get in touch with us today for a Free estimate.

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