5 Signs that You Need to Have Your Chimney Cleaned
August 1, 2022at7:00 AM
As summer starts to come to a close and the fall colors deepen in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. areas, fireplaces roar back to life as the evenings begin to chill. During this time, homeowners may find problems getting their fires burning cleanly or notice that smoke and odors are not being drawn out of the room effectively through the chimney. Maintaining your chimney throughout the year is essential to ensure there are no issues when you decide to use it.
Luckily, at Capitol Chimney Service, we have over 20 years of experience providing chimney service, repairs, and maintenance to the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metropolitan areas. We provide proper chimney inspections, chimney sweeping and cleaning, and installation of gas fireplaces.
Here are five signs that you’re overdue for a chimney cleaning.
1. Difficulty Starting a Fire
When you light a fire, it’s important to have the right balance of heat, fuel, and oxygen. Your chimney stack works by creating a draft, drawing combustion air into the firebox, and exhausting combustion gases outside. Any blockages with your chimney can affect the draft and burning process because less oxygen gets through to the fire.
A strong indicator of a blockage in the stack or at the cap is if you’re having trouble lighting your kindling and keeping the fire burning. This could be caused by fallen leaves, small animals getting in, or grime buildup.
2. Strong Burning Odors
There are by-products every time you light a fire. Poisonous gases are released and vented to the outside, and creosote and soot form. Soot is a black powdery substance that coats the chimney’s inner walls. In addition, an oily tar substance known as creosote also adheres to the fireplace and chimney walls. Both soot and creosote contain harmful toxins.
If you let soot and creosote build up over time, you may notice a strong smell coming out of your fireplace. The strong the odor, the higher the concentration of toxins in the air. Strong odors can also indicate that creosote is at a dangerous level where a chimney fire can occur.
3. Smoke in Your Room
Many things can cause smoke in one of your rooms. High winds, damp wood, and exhaust fans can all cause scenarios where smoke may enter your house. However, if none of these factors apply and smoke is a recurring problem, you may have a chimney blockage.
Your local chimney service can help you identify the problem and remedy it. First, we will remove any birds or rodents that are found, then use rods and brushes to clean the remaining obstructions and grime buildup. Last, a chimney vac removes dislodged soot and other debris from the sweeping.
4. Signs of an Animal Infestation
If you hear rustling noises in your fireplace, you may have uninvited guests. Birds and rodents often nestle in chimneys because it provides a sturdy buffer from cold weather. However, any nests in your chimney could cause a restricted airily causing smoke to flood your house.
5. Debris and Grime Are Falling into Your Fireplace
Another clear indicator that you’re overdue for a chimney clean is if you can clearly see debris and grime in your fireplace. This could include leaves, twigs, or feathers from animals nesting or blown-in vegetation. Any of these could cause an obstruction affecting the air quality in your home.
Trust Capitol Chimney Service for Service, Repairs, and Maintenance
For over 20 years, homeowners in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metropolitan areas have trusted us to keep their homes warm and safe while using their chimneys. At Capitol Chimney Service, we take pride in providing our customers with knowledge and customized service. We are locally-owned and operated, certified, licensed, bonded, and insured with two decades of experience. Give yourself peace of mind by hiring a licensed, insured, and bonded professional company.