Why is it so important to get your chimney cleaned regularly?

Do you remember the chimney sweep scene from Mary Poppins? The soot covered sweeps danced across the London rooftops and sometimes disappeared down the chimneys? That was one of my favourite scenes from the movie.

Chimney sweeps were once a common sight all over Europe and North America and they provided a very important service. Nowadays, with wood and coal being pretty much replaced by other clean energy sources such as natural gas for heating, there isn’t nearly as much demand for the services of chimney sweeps. However, if you have a wood burning fireplace or woodstove in your home, making sure that the chimney is cleaned and inspected regularly could save your life.

Burning wood causes creosote and soot to be deposited on your chimney liner, firebox, and damper. Creosote is highly flammable and it doesn’t take very much of it to cause a chimney fire. A fire in your chimney can easily spread to the rest of your home. If your fireplace or woodstove isn’t working properly or you aren’t using it correctly, creosote can build up faster. Burning some types of wood, for example pine, will also cause a deposit of creosote to build up faster.

You should have your fireplace, woodstove, and chimney inspected at least once a year, preferably before cold weather hits. Even if you don’t use your fireplace or woodstove very much you should have it inspected regularly. An inspection will reveal if there’s any damage or creosote buildup, or if nesting birds or rodents like squirrels have created a blockage. If you use your fireplace or woodstove a lot, you should have it inspected and cleaned more regularly.

In Mary Poppins, chimney cleaning was a messy business and usually resulted in a soot filled living room. However, at Kettle Valley Duct Cleaners, that never happens. We use our truck mounted vacuum system to draw air down the chimney. As we brush the soot and creosote away from the walls of your chimney, it’s safely removed from your home.

Wood heating season is starting now. If you forgot to have your fireplace and chimney cleaned after the last wood heating season, now’s the time to do it. Give us a call at Kettle Valley Duct Cleaners today!

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