Is it Time For a Chimney Inspection or Repair

While you are using your fireplace non-stop to keep your home cozy and warm, it’s also building up creosote and creating hazardous conditions that often cause chimney fires. As soon as the cold weather passes, it’s the perfect time to perform a chimney sweep to remove dirt and soot. The spring is also the time to get an inspection and chimney repair so it is ready for winter usage.

Why Is It Important To Clean Your Chimney? 

A chimney sweep is an integral part of annual maintenance and upkeep as it removes creosote from the firebox, damper, liner, and fireplace and ensures that every component operates safely. Cleaning your fireplace out after seasonal usage will reduce the likelihood of future problems.

DIY Wood-Burning Fireplace Cleaning

Inspecting and cleaning wood-burning fireplaces will get you dirty, so if you decide to do this yourself, make sure you wear old clothes that can be discarded afterward. You’ll also want to wear safety gear like goggles and a mask because of the presence of ash. You’ll want to start by removing the grate and emptying the firebox. You’ll next want to clean the ash out completely.

It will help if you have a shop-vac as it will get all of the dirt and debris out. You can then use a wire-bristled brush or scrubber and a grease-removing cleaning solution to clean out the creosote from the fireplace walls. You can purchase commercial fireplace cleaners or simply make up a DIY creosote remover by using dishwashing liquid or a baking soda and water cleansing paste.

You’ll want to use a damp cloth to rinse the bricks and walls. It will also ensure you pick up any remaining soot in the fireplace and damper. After it is clean, it’s an ideal time to inspect for cracks in the chimney and firebox and ensure there is no rust in the damper and flue. You can then clean the grate with vinegar and water before replacing it for the next winter’s usage.

DIY Gas Fireplace Cleaning

You’ll want to remember to turn off the gas and pilot light and remove the grate and ceramic, cement mix, or steel logs. Begin cleaning by vacuuming the fireplace to remove dust and soot debris. Clean the firebox with vinegar and water. You’ll want to clean the logs and grate before replacing them. Gas does not build up creosote as quickly as wood, but you will still want to have your fireplace inspected and cleaned annually to ensure everything is working as it should.

Why Is An Annual Fireplace Inspection Necessary?

The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having annual inspections to verify parts are in operable condition and to reduce the risk of combustion. It allows homeowners to receive the necessary chimney repairs when parts are broken or showing signs of wear and tear.

Give us a call at (978) 977-3816 or on Facebook to schedule your spring fireplace inspection and cleaning. If we find that you require chimney repairs, we’ll gladly take care of it on-site.