Chim chimney, chim chimney, chim chim cher-ee
A sweep is as lucky as lucky can be!
This nostalgic Mary Poppins song rings true – chimney sweep services are absolutely essential to the integrity and safety of your chimney. Lucky indeed!
Even if you’ve lived in a home for twenty years, the chimney is an often intimidating appliance to clean and maintain. Dealing with soot and tight spaces is enough to make anyone queasy.
But chimney sweeps (or chimney service companies) are trained professionals with the experience and know-how to get the job done quickly, efficiently, and without mess!
Here are some surprising benefits of chimney sweep services that you might not know about:
Chimney sweep services prevent chimney fires
In the U.S., there are over 25,000 chimney fires per year. These fires are responsible for over 125 million dollars in property damage.
A chimney fire can reach temperatures upwards of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to crack your chimney’s liner and ignite your house’s framing.
The most common cause of chimney fires is creosote buildup. Creosote is a tar-like substance that forms when wood burns. It’s black, sticky, and flammable.
How does creosote build up in a chimney?
When you burn wood, the smoke rises up the chimney. As the temperature of the chimney increases, the water vapor in the smoke condenses on the chimney walls. This leaves behind a sticky residue that is full of toxins and carcinogens.
Over time, this buildup gets thicker and thicker. If it’s not removed, it becomes a severe fire hazard.
How do chimney sweep services prevent creosote buildup and chimney fires?
Chimney sweeps are trained to identify and remove creosote buildup before it has a chance to ignite. They have specialized tools and equipment to do so – brushes, scrapers, and vacuums specifically designed for chimneys. Chimney professionals also know how to spot other potential fire hazards, like cracks in the chimney lining or blockages.
Chimney sweep services improve the efficiency of your fireplace
If your chimney is blocked by debris, it will affect how well your fireplace drafts.
How do chimneys create drafts?
When a chimney fills with hot gas, the gas rises because it is less dense than the air outside the house. The rising hot gas creates a pressure difference called draft, which draws combustion air into the appliance and expels the exhaust gas outside.
If something is blocking the chimney – like soot, creosote, or debris – it will impede the flow of hot air. This can cause many problems, like smoke spilling into your home, decreased heat output, and even a fire.
A chimney sweep will clear out any blockages in your chimney so that the hot air can escape quickly and easily. As a result, you’ll have a fireplace that works more efficiently and is less smoky.
A good chimney sweep will clear any blockages and ensure the flue is the correct size for your fireplace. They’ll also check for any cracks or leaks and repair them as needed.
As a result, you’ll see a decrease in your energy bills and have fewer issues with smoke in your home.
Chimney sweep services keep your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas produced whenever fuel is burned. CO blends into the existing air, can’t be heard, felt, seen, or tasted, and can be lethal without a device to detect it.
If your chimney is blocked or damaged, CO from your gas fireplace can leak into your home and poison the people and animals inside.
What are the signs of a carbon monoxide leak in a gas fireplace?
- Soot, smoke, fumes, or back-draft in the house from a chimney, fireplace, or other fuel-burning equipment
- Sooty or brownish-yellow stains around the fireplace
- You smell a faint, “rotten egg” odor. Though CO is odorless, sometimes it is accompanied by other exhaust gases you can smell
- A yellow pilot light flame instead of the usual clear blue
Symptoms of carbon monoxide inhalation are similar to the flu and can include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue or confusion
If you experience these symptoms and suspect a CO leak, get out of your house immediately and call 911. Then, open all the doors and windows to air out your home.
How can chimney sweep services help?
A chimney sweep will inspect your chimney for any damage that could be causing a CO leak. They’ll make sure the chimney is clear of debris and adequately vented. If they find any cracks or leaks, they’ll repair them so you can use your fireplace safely.
A properly functioning chimney is essential for preventing CO poisoning. A chimney sweep can ensure yours is up to code and working properly.
They can also install CO monitors in your home, which will sound an alarm if dangerous levels of CO are detected.
Chimney sweeps can save you money on your energy bills
If your chimney is blocked, it can’t do its job of venting hot air out of your home.
This can cause your furnace or fireplace to work overtime, driving up your energy bills.
How can chimney sweep services help save money?
- A chimney sweep will clear any blockages in your chimney so that hot air can escape and your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard.
- Regularly sweeping ashes from the firebox also allows more oxygen to circulate, making fires hotter. This means you can use less wood to achieve the same heat level, saving you money in the long run. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, even as little as one-tenth of an inch of soot can decrease a fire’s heat output by 50%.
- A chimney sweep can also inspect your chimney and ensure it’s the correct size for your fireplace. If it’s too small, they can recommend ways to enlarge it. This will help your fireplace work more efficiently and save you money on your energy bills.
- A chimney sweep can fill cracks and fissures in your chimney, which could otherwise allow carbon monoxide and outside air to seep into your home. Filling these cracks makes your chimney more energy efficient.
These simple chimney maintenance tasks can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Chimney sweeps can extend the life of your chimney
Your chimney is constantly exposed to rain, wind, and sun elements. Over time, this exposure can take its toll on your chimney, causing it to crack or crumble.
Chimney sweeps inspect your chimney for damage and make all necessary repairs.
They can also apply a waterproof sealant to your chimney to help protect it from the elements.
Investing in chimney sweep services can extend your chimney’s life and avoid costly repairs down the road. A well-maintained chimney can last for decades, but a neglected chimney will need to be replaced much sooner.
Chimney sweeps remove bird nests and other animals from chimneys
Birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals often take up residence in chimneys. They build nests that can block the chimney and prevent airflow. In some cases, animals may even die in the chimney, which is generally unpleasant and leads to foul odors.
A chimney sweep will safely remove any animals or nests from your chimney so you can use your fireplace without worry. They can also install a chimney cap, which will keep animals out in the future.
Related Reading: How Often Do You Need a Chimney Cleaner/Sweep?
Let Bay Area Chimney Cleaners Help
At The Irish Sweep, we always adhere to the highest safety standards. We are licensed and insured Bay Area chimney cleaners professionals who have been serving the area since 1982. If you need a chimney sweep, dryer vent cleaning, or other home services, give us a call today! Schedule our chimney sweep services today to enjoy a safe fireplace and chimney all year long.