What can happen if you go too long without cleaning your chimney
If you don’t use your fireplace that often, don’t assume that you don’t have to clean your chimney often either. Regardless of how much you use the fireplace, there could be some negative consequences if you wait years to inspect your chimney.
Escalating Chimney Problems
A small amount of chimney damage could turn into a bigger problem if it is not repaired soon enough. Unfortunately, people often don’t detect these minor damages unless they get regular inspections done on their chimney. That is why you should get an annual inspection done on your chimney by a professional in the business. They will surely discover any minor damages if they exist and then repair them. This will prevent you from having to pay for a more expensive repair job in the future.
Risk of Fire
It is very easy for a chimney to get clogged with dirt, debris, creosote, and even the nests of animals. If you don’t get regular inspections on your chimney, then this will remain undiscovered until you light your fireplace and find your home catching on fire in the process. This is another reason to get regular inspections done
Upon an inspection, the service person will offer to clean your chimney to reduce the chance of a future fire. Of course, there is always a small chance that a fire could still start anyway. If you want to get your insurance company to pay your claim in the event of a fire, you need to prove to them that you weren’t negligent with your chimney. This means you need to provide them with a receipt from the cleaning service you recently had done on your chimney.
If your fireplace is not working efficiently, then regular inspections and cleanings will improve your fireplace’s efficiency. The service person who inspects it is going to look at the firebox, damper, rain cap, ash dump, and smoke shelf. If one of these is not in great condition, they will need to be repaired or replaced.
Smelly Fireplaces are Dirty
A fireplace will surely stink if it is filled with creosote, leaves, feathers, and/or animal feces. If rainwater gets onto these things, the smell will be even worse. That is why cleaning your fireplace is essential, so you can prevent these smells from spreading throughout your home. Instead, you will just smell the burning wood from your fireplace.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, a homeowner should get an inspection done on their chimney a minimum of one time per year. But if you use your fireplace often, you may need to get more cleanings done each year. Just make sure you stick to a routine cleaning schedule so that the inhabitants of your home will remain comfortable and safe.