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Why Do I Need My Chimney Cleaned?

If you own a home with a fireplace, hopefully you make sure to schedule your yearly chimney sweep. Of course, depending on how often you use your fireplace, you could need a chimney cleaning more or less often than once every year. If you haven't stayed up to date with your chimney's cleanings and service, perhaps it's because you're not sure why it's so important to have your chimney cleaned. The more we move into the colder the months, the more you'll likely be using your fireplace. Now is the time to learn why chimney cleanings are such a crucial part of home maintenance!

The Importance of a Regular Chimney Sweep

Although we're the experts here at Capitol Chimney Service, we know “Because, we say so!” is not a good enough answer for why you need your chimney cleaned. So, instead, we'll outline the top reasons you need to schedule regular chimney sweeps.

Protect your home from chimney fires.

While your chimney most likely has a chimney cap or chase cover, dust and dirt can still build up inside your chimney (especially if your cover is rusted or worn). Also, as you burn wood in your fireplace, the smoke moves through the chimney and condenses into a tar-like substance known as creosote. Creosote will also build up on the walls inside of your chimney. The moment a flame our spark makes it into your chimney, those built up substances—made very flammable by the creosote—will catch fire.

First and foremost, chimney fires are dangerous. Yes, your fireplace and chimney are built to protect the rest of your home from fire and smoke. But, depending on the amount of buildup, your chimney may not withstand an extremely hot fire. Furthermore, they can cause very expensive damage, such as cracks in the masonry of your fireplace or chimney.

The best way to prevent a chimney fire? A regular chimney sweep.

Keep your fireplace and chimney operating efficiently.

You use your fireplace in the cold months to keep your home warm and cozy. If your chimney is dirty, causing a smoke build up, it makes your living space less than enjoyable. Enough buildup will cause a large blockage, which prevents your chimney from doing its job and carrying smoke out of your home. This is both dangerous and uncomfortable. A proper chimney cleaning will ensure that your fireplace is always safe to use!

Can I Clean My Chimney Myself?

After reading the information above, you may have realized that you desperately need your chimney cleaned. And, now you may be wondering if you should just get to work yourself to avoid the wait and expense of a chimney sweep. The short answer to this question? No, you should definitely not try to clean your chimney yourself. Call an expert chimney sweep a) for safety and b) to make sure the job is done right.

If you're not a licensed and insured chimney sweep, you don't know how to properly remove all of the dirt, debris, and buildup from the inside of your chimney. You also don't likely have the right tools. A large buildup may actually be categorized as a chimney repair, not a cleaning, which would require much more extensive tools and knowledge to remove. An attempt to remove a large buildup with a regular chimney brush can actually result in igniting the substance and causing a fire. Also, a chimney cleaning serves as a general chimney inspection, because a professional chimney sweep will look over your chimney parts as he or she cleans and let you know if they are in good working order.

If you don't know what you're doing, a proper chimney cleaning can create a huge mess. Leave a chimney sweep to a professional with the right tools—including drop cloths, chimney vacuums, and chimney brushes—to be sure your home is left clean after the job is done.

Hire a Licensed & Insured Chimney Service Professional

Feel like you need to find a professional chimney sweep to come take a look at your chimney? We can help! At Capitol Chimney Service, our goal is to provide top-quality, prompt chimney cleanings at a fair price. We've been working in the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC areas for over a decade, and we'd love to work with you!

Contact us today to talk about scheduling your next chimney sweep!

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