Houston Chimney Sweeping Services
There is nothing better than a crackling fire and the ambiance that a fireplace brings.
The newfangled fireplaces that turn on with the flip of a switch just don't have the enticement that a traditional wood burning fireplace does. However, the more you use your fireplace, the dirtier it becomes. You must clean your chimney to avoid any dangerous repercussions from buildup.
Typically, homeowners overlook this job, as it is dirty and involved. If you use your fireplace regularly, this is one task that you simply cannot put off. A chimney needs to be cleaned for both health and safety reasons. It helps to keep your home free from allergies and it can also prevent a dangerous buildup of creosote.
Why Cleaning Is Essential?
Dirt and debris get into the chimney and build up on the flue. When you light a fire, the smoke cannot properly escape and backs up into the home. This turns your home and fireplace into a dangerous environment where toxins pollute the air.
Creosote can ignite if the buildup is at a certain level, and this fire is hard to control. Having regular maintenance done on the chimney is advantageous. If there are any cracks in the liner or around the outside of the brick, this can cause water to get into the home. When there is a crack in the liner, smoke can enter the home with ease. Regular maintenance can prevent these issues.
Why You Need a Certified Chimney Sweep Service?
It may be tempting to climb up on the roof and try to clean the chimney yourself. However, being on your roof alone is dangerous enough, but there is a greater risk by moving around and trying to work.
The average person doesn't have the tools to adequately clean their chimney. That is why it is so important for you to have someone that is properly trained and has the tools of the trade. A licensed and insured chimney Sweep will have certifications from the vast amount of training they have received.
This is not a common household task, and if you don't know what you are doing, you can cause the buildup of creosote to come out of your chimney and deposit into your home. It can ruin furniture and leave a black coat of powered on the carpet and various other household items.
How Often Should A Chimney Be Cleaned?
The NFPA, or the National Fire Protection Association, recommends that you have your chimney inspected and cleaned twice per year. A good time to schedule your first inspection is in October. As fall is approaching, the wood burning season will be in full swing.
Having your chimney inspected during this time will ensure that your home will stay warm. Since this is such a demanding time of year, it's best to schedule your cleaning early to ensure you fireplace is ready to go. How often a chimney needs cleaned will depend on who you ask.
At the very least it should be done once per year. The inspection will let you know about the condition of the chimney and any repairs that need to be made. Also, a professional chimney sweep can have the fireplace sparkling clean and ready to safely start a crackling fire.
Wild Life Issues
One of the reasons, why it is so important to have an inspection on the fireplace before burning the first fire, is wildlife. The large opening at the top of the chimney becomes the perfect lodging for birds, bats, squirrels, possums and even raccoons.
On the firebox and behind the damper is a great place for an expectant mother to curl up and have her young. One way to tell if there is a wildlife issue is the vast amount of noise that animals make. If there are young involved, there will also be chirping, scratching and rustling about. If you even think there are animals in your chimney, starting a fire is a human-wildlife conflict.
The animals will be at risk if you start a fire. Removing a dead animal can be an ever bigger task. Additionally, a dead animal can fill the house with a putrid smell. Another thing to consider is the fact that they nest on the damper.
To start a fire, you must open the damper. Opening the flue can cause the animals to be dropped into your home and running through your house. Dealing with wildlife in the chimney can be a real hassle. You will need to call in a wildlife removal company to safely get the animals out of the space.
Once they are removed, you should have a stainless steel chimney cap installed to prevent any animals from occupying the space again. These caps will also keep rain, snow and other debris from getting into the chimney.
Brick and Masonry Issues
Chimneys can be problematic in an older home. The newer homes use modern codes and materials that allow the chimneys to hold up to the published standards. However, the older homes didn't have such a code, and these chimneys have stood the test of time.
They typically need serious work to be functional. If a house is more than 60 years of age, the chimney is probably masonry based. It wasn't until after the 1950's that metal and factory build hearths came into place. The old masonry chimneys have bricks and or block. The older chimney usually doesn't have a lining.
If the chimney isn't lined, it shouldn't be used for anything. Like most things, the chimney will wear out over time. The older chimneys are becoming more and more obsolete. A chimney that is unlined will leak noxious gas into your home. Even new homes have chimney issues too.
During your yearly inspection, your chimney sweep can advise you on any issues with your bricks or block around your chimney. A masonry expert will need to be called in and make the appropriate repairs. If your home is a certain age, the chimney may not be safe to use.
Between a chimney sweep and a masonry expert, you can ensure that your safety is the first concern. A licensed masonry contractor handles these issues on a daily basis and has the tools and skills to get the job done right.
There's Nothing Better Than a Fireplace!
While is sounds a bit overwhelming, having your chimney cleaned is just a routine part of ensuring your home's safety. Burning a fire will be safe for your home and everyone in it.
There's nothing better than a roaring fire on a cold, stormy night. If you haven't had your fireplace cleaned and inspected; you should make an appointment today!
Chimney Sweep Companies in the Houston Area
Please remember to do your due diligence and check for up to date credentials before you hire any contractor.
Patterson & Sons Chimney Sweep
5323 Killough St
2014 Westlake Way
Nature's Own Chimney Cleaning
1605 Fairview St
All Seasons Chimney Sweep
10603 Brentway Dr
Bay Area Chimney Sweep
Barons Chimney Service
4850 Milwee St