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What Happens When You Don’t Clean Your Chimney

Wood-burning fireplaces are popular in the Colorado Springs area. They’re great to own, but ownership needs to include chimney maintenance. The primary maintenance task is regular chimney cleaning. FlameMaster Chimney Sweep of Crystola, CO, would like to share some important information about the dangers that can arise if you don’t keep your chimney clean.

Chimney Fire Prevention, Lake George, ColoradoChimney fires

The biggest concern is a chimney fire, which can destroy a chimney and spread to other parts of the home. The cause of most chimney fires is excess creosote in the flue. This is a highly flammable substance that builds up each time the fireplace is used. Creosote should be professionally removed by chimney sweeps (technicians) who have the tools and experience to do the job safely and correctly. Annual chimney cleaning is recommended in most cases.

Drafting obstructions

There are two main types of drafting obstructions that narrow the flue and can cause smoke to back up into the house:

1. Built-up creosote and soot
2. Tree debris and the nests of small animals (as well as dead animals)

When built properly, chimney flues are sized to draft the specific fireplaces to which they’re connected. When a flue is narrowed, smoke can’t vent as it should. An obstructed flue can send smoke and deadly carbon monoxide into your home’s breathing air. This debris must be cleaned out. You can prevent this problem in the future by having a proper full-width chimney cap installed.

Sluggish fires

Another common problem associated with chimney flues that aren’t cleaned regularly is the inability to get fires started easily and keep them burning robustly. This is due to a lack of air being drawn into the fireplace.
A fire that is air-deprived will not only burn sluggishly, but it may also produce large amounts of smoke, which only adds to the creosote buildup.

Acidic damage

Creosote is very acidic and can damage the surfaces of chimney liners. A deteriorated chimney liner – whether it’s made of tile, stainless steel or poured-in-place compounds – can allow intense heat and smoke to damage adjacent parts of the home and may lead to a fire.
Damaged chimney liners also provide an escape for carbon monoxide and other combustion gases that are created during a fire. These toxins can wind up in your room and cause severe health consequences in people and animals.

The value of an experienced chimney sweep

As noted above, chimney sweeps – particularly those certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) – are the only people qualified to clean your chimney and perform inspections.
Chimney sweeps use brushes, rotating rods, scrubbers, vacuums, solvents and more to remove creosote in flaky, sticky, puffy and solid forms. During the cleaning, they can look over your entire chimney system and alert you to early signs of damage or malfunction.

Professional Fireplace Cleaning in Cripple Creek, ColoradoKeep your chimney clean and safe all year long

FlameMaster provides licensed chimney cleaning and inspection, as well as a full menu of chimney repairs and the replacement of parts. We’re the chimney experts you can count on for jobs done right every time.
We serve all of Crystola, CO, Woodland Park, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, Divide, CO, Manitou Springs, CO, Cripple Creek, CO, Victor, CO, and other nearby communities.

Speak with a chimney professional today at (719) 661-3277, or get in touch with our handy contact form.