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- Even if you don’t use your fireplace, it’s essential to have your chimney cleaned and inspected yearly
- Consider it like a yearly checkup for your home. Because your chimney and flue aid in the “breathing” of your home’s interior, you’ll want to ensure they are in good working order
- By getting a regular checkup, you can avoid any potential problems before they start, and keep your family healthy and breathing easy (Source)
Is Cleaning Your Chimney Necessary if You Don’t Use it?
Many houses already have chimneys and fireplaces fitted. However, for a myriad of factors, many homeowners prefer not to use their fireplaces to warm their houses throughout the winter.
It might be costly to locate proper, treated wood if you do not have access to firewood. Furthermore, many areas are just too warm to justify burning a fire throughout the winter season.
Many homeowners believe that if they do not use their chimneys, they do not need to be cleaned, but this might not be far from the fact. If you don’t use your fireplace, you may not need to clean your chimney as frequently, but you ought to still have a specialist examine and sweep it to ensure its safety. (Source 1, Source 2)
What exactly is Chimney Cleaning?
Chimney cleaning or brushing is simply sweeping the sidewalls from the top to the bottom using a brush. A chimney sweep helps to remove debris that has accumulated on the sides of a chimney.
When the wood burns, it emits a variety of compounds throughout the combustion process. These byproducts are responsible for the black soot on the interior of your chimney. This coating of soot is very combustible and must be removed. (Source)
Here is a list of reasons why you should have your chimney cleaned even if you don’t use your fireplace:
Even though you do not utilize your chimney, moisture accumulation might occur. Winter and stormy seasons are hard on chimneys, and if the chimney is susceptible to moisture for an extended period of time, it may damage both your chimney and the structure of your house.
Many underused chimneys and fireplaces aren’t properly lined, leaving your home’s structure vulnerable to moisture which has crept in via the chimney. Having your chimney examined may guarantee that no moisture enters your property via the chimney.
Even when you do not utilize your chimney, it might sustain harm. Adverse weather and dampness can damage the brickwork and chimney joints, resulting in a cracked or displaced chimney.
If a damaged chimney is not fixed in a timely manner, it may collapse. Getting your chimney evaluated once a year ensures that no severe damage has occurred that necessitates repair.
Despite the fact that you are not at risk of fire, animals, rats, and birds have been found to construct nests inside the chimney. Having your chimney examined for bugs and then swept will help to eliminate pests and maintain your chimney clean and safe.
Even if you’re not using your chimney, having it swept by a skilled chimney sweeping business like Blue Sky is essential.
A qualified chimney expert will visit to your house and evaluate the interior and exterior of your chimney with specific equipment to find any chimney damages, sweep out the chimney, and propose any remedies. (Source)
How Often Should a Chimney be Inspected?
If you’ve not had the chimney examined in more than a year, if you’re experiencing performance problems with your chimney, hearth, or heating system, or if you’ve recently acquired the property, you should arrange an examination.
Waiting nearly always leads in further repairs and, in some cases, property damages. Each year, homeowners in the United States lose approximately $200 million as a result of persisting to employ dangerous systems.
When you update or modify your heating system, or when you install a stove or insert, it is also a good idea to have your venting systems evaluated. An examination will ensure that your chimney and venting systems are suitable and functional for the new adjustments. (Source)
What I did
When I moved into my home in Hampton Bays, I knew that I wanted to use the fireplace. But when I contacted a few chimney sweeping businesses, they all told me that I needed to get the entire chimney cleaned – even if I wasn’t going to be using it.
At first, I was a little skeptical. I mean, I hadn’t used the fireplace in years, so why did it need to be cleaned? But then I thought about it more and decided that it made sense. After all, if the chimney isn’t clean, moisture could accumulate and damage the house.
And besides, who knows what kind of pests might be living in there if it’s not regularly cleaned? So even though it was an extra expense, I decided to go ahead and have the chimney cleaned.
And you know what? It was definitely worth it. The guys who came to clean it were professional and thorough. They even climbed onto the roof to make sure that everything was clean.
So if you’re not using your fireplace, but you haven’t had it cleaned in a while, don’t hesitate – go ahead and get it done! You’ll be glad you did.
When cleaning out your chimney, use a protective breathing mask. To access the very peak of the chimney, you may have to carefully climb onto the roof. Take precautions and anchor yourself to a solid location on the roof.
The chimney itself is an excellent spot to secure oneself. If you prefer to clean your own chimney, please adhere to roof safety standards (Source).