Any responsible chimney owner knows that you should have your chimney cleaned on an annual basis. But did you know that if you use your chimney on a regular basis you might need to have your chimney cleaned even more often than this? The more you use your fireplace, the more danger there is of soot buildup or fire damage occurring, and the best way to prevent further damage and to keep your family safe is to call the experts at Firesafe Chimney Services.

How Much is a Lot?

You might be wondering if your fireplace usage is a lot of fireplace usage. The experts at the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommend that you have your chimney cleaned when there’s a ⅛ of an inch of creosote build-up, and that can happen if you use your chimney as often as four or five times a week. Another way to determine this is if you burn a cord of wood. Although definitions of a cord of wood can vary from region to region, generally speaking, it means a stack of wood that measures 4 feet wide by 4 feet high by 8 feet long.

Another reason that creosote can build up is because of the type of wood you are burning. If you burn fresh-cut, green wood, or even wood that has been cured but not for a long enough time, more creosote will be created. This is because of the water content of uncured wood. More water content means more water vapor released in the burn, which leads to more condensation in your chimney. That means more creosote buildup. Also, burning harder woods such as oak, ash, maple, and hickory will ensure a hotter fire with less smoke, which means less creosote buildup.

Mid-season Sweeping and Inspection

According to the National Fire Protection Association, “(T)he leading factor contributing to home heating fires (30%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.” This statistic is disturbing, especially when it is so easily preventable by simply calling Firesafe Chimney Services and scheduling a mid-season chimney inspection and sweeping.

What Will We Look For?

The main thing that we’ll be looking for when we do your mid-season sweep is creosote buildup. Because creosote is so flammable, it’s important to keep a close eye on the level of buildup occurring over the course of usage. If creosote is allowed to build up, you could have a chimney fire occur without even knowing it. Although many times a chimney fire will be accompanied by a loud, roaring noise, more often not enough oxygen is present to allow for more than just a small, undetected chimney fire. Although it may be small, it can still cause considerable damage. This is another reason that it is important to call us if you have been using your fireplace on a frequent basis. At Firesafe, we take pride in keeping your family safe and sound all winter long.