Your Home: Chimney Sweeping
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As we find ourselves in the middle of heating season or burning season for those of you who heat with wood or pellets, there are some things to keep in mind to make sure your system is operating safely. Which may require a call to your friendly, neighborhood chimney sweep.
“We'll look to see if there's any creosote build-up. If there is, we'll let the people know that it's time to clean the chimney. It's usually done annually to make sure it's in good working order for the burning season," said Master Chimney Sweep Chris Rotondo.
Creosote. It's a word you commonly hear during the fall and winter months. What is it exactly and what makes it so dangerous?
“Creosote is tar droplets that are made from the condensing of smoke inside the flue or the smoke chamber of the fireplace. It's the flammable material that causes chimney fires,” said Rotondo.
Obvious tell-tale signs of build-up within your chimney are a back-up of smoke into the house and ash or embers flying out of the top of the chimney. If it ever gets to point where you see flames, call 911 immediately. You'll then need to contact a sweep like Rotondo to come and inspect and repair any damage.
“After the fire is out, you'll want to get in touch with a chimney cleaning company and the make sure the chimney has been inspected both visually and with a video camera for cracks or any deterioration in the flue,” said Rotondo.
For the homebuyers out there, especially first-timers, if you're purchasing a home with a chimney, make sure it's inspected by a professional chimney sweep during the home inspection process. Licensed home inspectors will only look at the exterior of the chimney for any visible damage.