How Do I Clean My Chimney?

Chimney Against A Cloudy Sky

Chimney Care

Most people forget to clean their chimney as it is out of sight so it tends to be out of mind.  However, neglecting the cleanliness of your chimney can have harsh consequences as detailed below.  Abide by a regular schedule of proper chimney maintenance and this important part of your home will be clean and safe for use as often as you desire.  Without further ado, let’s take a look at the importance of chimney cleaning and delve into chimney maintenance tips. 

How Often do You Need to Clean Your Chimney?

There is no need to bother cleaning your chimney at the same frequency as you clean your home’s floors, bathtub or cookware.  Chimney maintenance should be performed once per year.  Otherwise, the chimney sweep will not be able to properly remove soot, creosote, blockages and other gunk.  Abide by a regular schedule of chimney maintenance/cleaning and you will be able to use your fireplace in full confidence.  At the very least, your chimney should be professionally inspected at least once per year to ensure everything is in worker order and functioning as it should. 

When in doubt, have your chimney cleaned once per year even if it is not egregiously dirty.  The venting systems connected to your home’s stoves and furnaces should also be cleaned once per yer to boot.  When in doubt, rely on our heating services for assistance with home heating maintenance and cleaning.  Even if you do not use your chimney as often as expected, it should still be cleaned as animals ranging from birds to raccoons might have ventured in, making the use of the fireplace unsafe.  However, it might be necessary to clean your chimney more than once per year.  According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, if more than 1/8” of soot has accumulated within the chimney/flue system, a cleaning will be necessary.  Furthermore, if you spot any glaze within the flue, cleaning should be performed sooner rather than later.

How Much Does It Cost to Have Your Chimney Swept?

Do not let the potential cost of cleaning a chimney stop you from having this important part of your home tended to.  Chimney cleanings are worth every single penny.  Most chimney cleanings cost between $150 and $400.  This is money well-spent as the inspection and cleaning of a chimney will prevent potentially costly repairs and the buildup of creosote that causes fires. 

If you are intimidated by the prospect of spending upwards of $400 for a chimney sweep, consider the cost of a home fire.  The little bit of money necessary for a chimney sweep is significantly less than the cost of building a new home destroyed by a fire.  Furthermore, most chimney sweeps do not run in excess of $250.  In the end, you will likely end up spending between $100 and $250 for your chimney sweep.  The final cost ultimately hinges on the type of chimney at your home and the roof’s accessibility.

What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Chimney?

The failure to clean a chimney is likely to result in the gradual buildup of creosote.  The burning of wood leads to the formation of creosote within the chimney or its liner.   Creosote spikes the chances of a chimney fire.  The rate at which creosote accumulates is higher if improper burning practices are used or if the fireplace is not functioning as designed.  If enough creosote accumulates, it will eventually decrease the fireplace’s draw, reducing efficiency and posing a legitimate fire hazard.

Abide by a few key chimney maintenance tips and you won’t have to pay for the comprehensive cleaning of a creosote-filled chimney as often as those who neglect their chimney.  Every homeowner in Shreveport, LA should adhere to the following chimney maintenance tips:

  • Check the damper a few times per year to ensure it properly closes
  • Take a look at the mortar bricks and joints to see if they have been compromised
  • Pay for a chimney inspection and cleaning at least once per year
  • Ideally, the chimney should be cleaned every 50 burns
  • Waterproof your chimney with the addition of a water sealant to the exterior that guards against moisture and mold formation
Two Chimneys Needing Repair

Do Chimney Cleaning Logs Really Work?

Some Shreveport, LA homeowners have enjoyed success with chimney cleaning logs.  After all, soap and water will only do so much for a chimney loaded up with creosote.  Chimney cleaning logs, sometimes referred to as creosote sweeping logs, are touted as an easy means of cleaning chimneys.  Though these logs make it easier to maintain your chimney, they will never serve as an effective replacement for professional cleaning performed once each year.  These logs will only work if they are used in the proper manner.  In short, chimney cleaning logs make it easier to remove creosote.  Such logs have chemical additives that move up through the chimney, sticking to creosote deposits and eventually turning it into a flaky material that is significantly less flammable. 

Chimney cleaning logs will decrease the buildup in the chimney yet industry experts are adamant such logs are merely supplemental to professional chimney sweep cleaning.  A chimney sweep’s specialized chimney cleaning equipment is necessary to perform a truly comprehensive cleaning of this structure.  As an example, a chimney sweep will use a chimney inspection camera to get a clear look at chimney damage, plan the cleaning and execute it to perfection. For your chimney services in Shreveport, LA, dial (318) 300-3660 for Keystone General Contracting, LLC!