Your fireplace or wood stove is a source of heat and comfort during the winter, but it can also be dangerous when it isn’t properly maintained. Every year, there are more than 70,000 house fires across the United States that cause over $1.3 billion in property damage. Chimney fires are the cause of about one-third of all house fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Regular chimney cleaning helps protect your home and loved ones from fire while also making your fireplace more efficient and potentially reducing the need for costly chimney repair.
The combustion process when you burn wood in your fireplace deposits creosote, an acidic and highly flammable material inside your firebox and chimney liner. This acidic compound can weaken a metal or masonry chimney and cause premature deterioration. It can also catch fire and quickly spread throughout your home. Without frequent cleaning, your chimney can also become home to birds and other pests that can obstruct the chimney with their nests.
If it’s been a while since your chimney has been swept, here’s why you should make it a priority.
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), fireplaces need to be cleaned once there is 1/8″ of creosote and/or soot buildup inside the chimney liner. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), all chimneys should be cleaned at least once every year.