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Signs It’s Time to Clean Your Chimney

Just like your home’s bathroom, kitchen, and other rooms need a routine cleaning, so does your chimney. Debris from wood-burning, soot and creosote buildup, animal nests, and combustion gas residue will accelerate your chimney’s deterioration and is also a health and safety hazard. Here are five warning signs that indicate it’s time to clean your chimney.

Professional Chimney Sweep, Aiken SCTarry or Oily spots in the Firebox

Creosote building up in the chimney is the number one cause of house fires from wood-burning heating appliances like a fireplace or stove. When creosote lingers in the flue due to infrequent chimney sweeping, it hardens into a thick, tarry, or oily material that is highly flammable. So, it’s time to clean your chimney if you notice dark, tarry, or oily spots on the firebox walls or the damper to reduce the risk of a fire or exposure to harmful carbon monoxide fumes.

Smoke is Filling Up Inside the Fireplace

Your chimney is designed to pull fresh oxygen into the firebox as smoke and fumes vent up the flue and exit the chimney.

However, when the vent is clogged, it impedes the airflow, and smoke builds up in the flue and fireplace.The obstruction could be due to debris from a damaged or missing chimney cap, animal nests, or excessive debris, soot, and creosote. A smoky fireplace is a serious sign that your chimney needs professional cleaning as soon as possible. Otherwise, there is a severe risk of a backdraft that may force smoke, soot, and poisonous carbon monoxide gas into your home.

It’s Hard to Light or Maintain a Fire

Your chimney requires sufficient draft to light and maintain a productive fire in the fireplace. Lighting the fireplace when the flue is cold is one reason that may explain difficulty getting a fire started. However, there are several more serious potential causes of draft problems, including a flue obstruction, masonry or liner damage, improper flue size, and even a damper that isn’t operating correctly. These are all signs that it’s time to clean and inspect your chimney.

You Hear Animal Noises in the Chimney

Neighborhood wildlife like squirrels, bats, and birds can make their way into the flue from a broken or missing chimney cap. They can even squeeze through gaps in the masonry or crown. You may hear gnawing, scratching, or screeching, especially at night. Consider it a signal that it’s time to call a Certified Chimney Professional® like Advanced Chimney Sweep for animal removal and cleaning in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) and South Carolina Midlands.

Burning or Foul Odors

What happens when you don’t clean your house regularly? It starts to smell bad. It’s the same with the chimney and flue. When there is excessive creosote, a flue obstruction, moisture, or decaying debris, your chimney and fireplace will start to smell bad. The odor can be anything from smelling like hot asphalt to a pungent or musty odor. Anytime there is a bad smell in the fireplace, it’s time for a thorough chimney cleaning.

chimney sweeping, savannah GASavannah Chimney Cleaning

Now is the perfect time to protect your home and family with routine chimney cleaning from Advanced Chimney Sweep. Our certified chimney professionals provide chimney cleaning, inspections, and repairs at affordable prices in Waynesboro, GA, Vidalia, GA, Aiken, SC, and communities throughout the CSRA and South Carolina Midlands. Call (706) 833-4630 or (803) 508-3990 to schedule an appointment or contact us online today!