When the weather starts to get warmer, chimney spring cleaning is not the first thing that comes to mind for most people. However, maintaining the chimney each year is an important part of being a responsible homeowner. A homeowner who has never had their fireplace inspected in the past should look for these signs that it is time to call in a professional.
Those who are not convinced that their chimney is in need of a bit of maintenance should open up the damper and take a look. If debris falls from the chimney as soon as it is open, it is time for a cleaning. Even if nothing falls, take a look inside and notice the buildup of ash and dust. If it is more than one eight of an inch thick, the chimney is long overdue for a cleaning.
It is a good idea to schedule chimney spring cleaning for the same time each year. Some families choose to make it a part of their routine by scheduling a cleaning at the same time they do their taxes. After scheduling the yearly inspection and cleaning, flip immediately to the following year in the calendar or set a cell phone reminder to make next year’s appointment at the same time.
Cleaning a chimney seems like it should not be very difficult and some frugal homeowners may be tempted to take the task on themselves. However, in the case of maintaining a chimney, it is well worth the expense to seek professional help. Although it seems simple, there are many potential dangers involved with chimney maintenance and it is a job best left for someone with training and experience.
If the chimney is visibly dirty or if it cannot be opened without making a mess inside, it may be time to have a professional cleaning. Most conscientious homeowners make it a point to schedule fireplace and chimney maintenance at approximately the same time each year. Doing so ensures that the fireplace is safe and that nobody is injured while maintaining it.