Why is it important to sweep your chimney?
Do you want to have your chimney swept or are you thinking about doing it yourself? Read on to learn all you need to know about chimney sweeping to ensure it is done safely and properly.
What is chimney sweeping?
Chimney sweeping primarily consists of cleaning the chimney’s walls and smoke evacuation system. Failure to do so can result in serious health and safety risks and is detrimental to the environment.
When should I sweep the chimney?
The best time to sweep a chimney is in spring, and some homeowners do a second sweeping before winter. By spring, highly flammable creosote and soot debris may have settled on the chimney walls after a long heating season. At this time of year, deposits are quite dry and therefore easier to remove. Check with your municipality to see if your chimney needs sweeping more than once a year. Municipal regulations vary in this regard.
What are the consequences of a poorly maintained chimney?
Chimney sweeping is essential to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. It also circulates air efficiently and evacuates gases and smoke. Creosote, in particular, is a carcinogenic substance that harms your health and the environment. A clean chimney is therefore essential for health and safety—which should never be neglected.
Should I do it myself or call in a specialist?
Chimney sweeping requires experience and the necessary tools to do the job effectively yourself.* Risks due to incorrect sweeping can be avoided by calling in a specialist. The job involves a lot more than vigorously brushing the chimney’s walls. You need to be able to check the condition of the entire heating system and clean each part and component, which often need adjusting. The use of chemical additives or “sweep logs” should never replace a sweep performed by a licensed professional. Hiring a professional ensures that any potential problems are identified and fixed before the next heating season.
*Note: if you are going to sweep your chimney yourself, don’t forget to have the smoke evacuation system cleaned at least every three years by a specialist.