Fall is quickly approaching, bringing crisp weather along with it. For many, this means a period of more frequent fireplace use is ahead. If you are hoping to utilize your fireplace more throughout the upcoming months, then it is time to schedule your annual inspection and cleaning.
Regular fireplace and chimney maintenance is vital in ensuring that your home and family stays safe year round. Check out a few reasons why scheduling that yearly inspection is so important.
The more dirt, debris, creosote, and other build-up that occurs within a chimney, the greater your chances are of experiencing a chimney fire. Creosote is known for being highly flammable and twigs, leaves, and other nesting materials brought in by animals will easily ignite when given the opportunity.
A fire will not only damage your masonry and other various parts of your chimney, but can affect the overall structural soundness of your home, as well. On top of this, you put your entire home and family at further risk of harm when the chances of fire are heightened. Reduce this threat by hiring a professional to thoroughly clean every nook and cranny, while using the proper materials.
If there are any blockages or damaged parts within a chimney, the entire system will function less efficiently. Without the ability to properly ventilate, a fireplace will spit any smoke and other fumes back into your home and your fireplace will remain unsuitable for use.
To build and maintain productive fires, have your entire fireplace checked out before you put it to work. An expert will clear out any excess debris, remove blockages, and make certain that everything is in proper working condition before any fires are lit. This will ensure that your home will be heated as efficiently as possible, thus reducing energy bills and heightening the overall atmosphere of your home.
Avoiding Harmful Toxins
If blockages are present, then smoke and other toxins are given nowhere to escape. This means friends and family will inhale the harmful gases produced by the fireplace. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to damaged health and hospital visits, so eliminate this risk by having your fireplace inspected before any fires are built.
To help ensure that no harmful gases are escaping your home, ask your chimney sweep about installing carbon monoxide detectors throughout it. This will add an extra level of protection for your family and you can rest easy knowing they are all out of harm’s way.
When it comes down to it, all of these things revolve around protecting your home and ensuring your family members stay in good health. At Weststar Chimney Sweeps, we have all of the tools and expertise necessary for adequately preparing your chimney for the changing of seasons we soon will face. Allow yourself the peace of mind you deserve by scheduling a cleaning and inspection today!
When our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps from Weststar Chimney Sweeps clean your chimney, we take great care to remove every bit of creosote from its interior walls. However, sometimes it takes more than just a typical chimney sweeping to get rid of this flammable residue. Creosote evolves through three different stages, and when it gets to the third and final stage, it becomes glazed on the walls of your flue. Glazed creosote can be very difficult to remove because it is like a thick shell of chocolate stuck to your chimney walls. It is impossible to remove with our regular chimney sweeping tools, so we will need to give your chimney a professional and detailed mechanical cleaning. Creosote deglazing is very important to keep your chimney safe from dangerous hazards, and we would like to tell you more about this service and why it is so essential.
What exactly is creosote, and why is it so hazardous?
A compound that forms naturally during the combustion process of burning wood, creosote sticks to the inner walls of your chimney and can accumulate into large deposits. If these deposits become large enough, they can block your flue and even ignite a chimney fire if the internal temperature of your flue reaches a high enough point. As the CSIA says, chimney fires can be caused by dirty chimneys. This is why the CSIA and other national fire safety organizations recommend that a chimney should be professionally swept annually.
What causes creosote to become glazed?
Although creosote occurs naturally when you burn wood, there are some precautions you can take to keep it from reaching the glazed state. The most important thing you can do to prevent glazed creosote is to always burn only seasoned wood, or wood that has been dried for at least six months. When you burn freshly-cut, wet wood, your fire burns at a lower temperature because it is too busy trying to burn off all of the excess moisture. This cooler temperature causes more creosote to form and dry at a slower pace. New layers of creosote begin to form over layers that are still wet, which leads to the development of glazed creosote. Another important thing to always do when you use your fireplace is to be sure the damper is completely open, which prevents the fire from smoldering and producing more creosote.
What is a creosote deglazing?
A detailed mechanical cleaning, creosote deglazing involves our trained technicians using a mechanical high-speed, half-inch drill and a 24-inch wizard whip to be able to safely remove the glazed creosote by breaking it down so that it will not damage the interior walls of your chimney.
Have you scheduled your annual chimney sweeping yet this year? Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to arrange a visit from our CSIA-certified sweeps to see if you will also need a creosote deglazing treatment.
In order for your fireplace and chimney to work efficiently and safely, you must take care of a few routine maintenance tasks. Included in these tasks is a chimney inspection performed by a certified chimney professional. Scheduling this service at the start of the year allows you to enjoy your fireplace without worrying about potential problems all year long. Weststar Chimney Sweeps is proud to offer chimney inspection services, and you can trust our chimney technicians to do the best job possible. All of our technicians have been trained and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to properly inspect chimneys. We would like to tell you why it is so important to have your chimney professionally inspected once a year.
Reduce the Risk of Chimney Fires
One of the things Weststar Chimney Sweeps looks for when inspecting chimneys is the amount of creosote deposits that have accumulated on the inner walls of your chimney. A large amount of creosote can be very dangerous as it is an extremely flammable compound. The CSIA has named creosote as the leading cause of chimney fires because it can easily ignite if the internal temperature of your chimney gets hot enough. Once we know how much creosote is inside your chimney, we can then make the best preparations for removing it by sweeping your chimney.
Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will also check to see if anything like leaves, bricks, or other debris is blocking the flue of your chimney. When your flue is blocked by debris, it can cause the toxic gas carbon monoxide to be forced back into your home. Without a carbon monoxide detector alarm, you could be breathing in carbon monoxide without even knowing it since it is odorless and tasteless. If we do find a blockage, we will remove the debris to make your chimney vent properly and safely.
Prolong the Life of Your Chimney
During our inspection, we will be looking for damage that could cause your chimney to be unsafe to use. Our CSIA-certified sweeps will closely examine the condition of the bricks and mortar of your chimney, as well as its components, including the liner and damper. If we find any type of damage, we will document it and give you photographs of the damage, along with a written inspection report. We can also make recommendations for repairing any damage we find.
Start off the new year by making sure your chimney is in its best condition. Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule an appointment for our certified chimney inspection services.
Learning about the combustion process can help you save money and keep your household safe.
If you don’t want this to happen to your beautiful home, you better learn the basics in avoiding chimney fires.
Over 25,000 chimney fires in the U.S. last year were responsible for over $120 million in property damage. Chimney fires can quickly spread into house fires in a relatively short period of time. No one ever wants to experience a chimney fire, or worse yet a fire in the chimney that spreads to other areas of the home. This is an important issue, and there are things everyone can do to protect themselves and their families from the chances of a chimney fire ever affecting them.
Most chimney fires happen for one simple reason: improper usage and care of wood-burning appliances. The importance of yearly chimney inspections and sweepings cannot be understated, as they are the one true way to minimize the likelihood of a chimney fire sparking in the first place. The fact is that clean chimneys simply don’t catch fire.
What Causes Chimney Fires?
When wood is burnt, the emissions are expelled into the chimney. As these gases rise, they cool down and form creosote — a tar-like substance that sticks to your chimney or chimney liner. Creosote is extremely flammable and can be lit by even a small spark or floating ember from the fire below. The three most common causes of chimney fires are:
- Burning wet or unseasoned wood can increase the production of creosote.
- Failing to have your chimney swept often enough.
- Blockages in your chimney that can restrict air flow.
Knowledge is key to reducing the potential of a chimney fire happening in your home.
What can I do to Prevent a Chimney Fire?
Your first line of defense is always prevention. Make sure you have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in multiple locations within your home. Make sure you only burn dry, seasoned wood. Make sure you get your chimney swept at least once a year (more frequently is you use your fireplace more heavily). Make sure you never burn trash, cardboard or other types of waste, as these are more likely to produce sparks.
Chimney fires are a dangerous and serious problem to have, but the good news is that they are almost entirely preventable. Homeowners must be careful to only burn materials that are ready and meant to be burned. While using the correct fuel is important, a chimney fire can still occur even after taking all of the necessary precautions. This is why annual chimney inspections and sweepings are a critical part of your home maintenance routine. If your chimney is clean, the chances of a chimney fire occurring are slim-to-none. Don’t wait to call to schedule your inspection and cleaning. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians will help to ensure that you and your family have a safe and happy heating season.