Chimney Sweeping and Cleaning

Chimney sweeping and cleaning is the equivalent of a routine checkup for your Chimney and Fireplace. Just as you would visit your family doctor to make sure your are healthy and don’t have any warning signs, a chimney sweep and inspection that comes along with, accomplishes the same for your chimney. 

Your fireplace and chimney system, though strong and durable because its made from steel, brick or stone, has a lot of features. Along with burning wood and its prolonged use, these features need to be cleaned out and inspected regularly. The standard is to have a thorough maintenance inspection and cleaning every year.

When Should You Sweep Your Chimney?

  • Most people will require a once a year cleaning. If you burn wood as a primary heat source for your home you must clean it and have an inspection at least once a year.
  • If you burn occasionally – especially around the holidays – the best time to clean your chimney is in the early fall. A smokey living room puts a big damper on your holiday parties.
  • If you burn rarely, to the point you haven’t burned in years, still make that time to have a cleaning and inspection. Things can happen to your chimney overtime that can be a major risk.            

Benefits of Chimney Sweeping

At Philadelphia Chimney Sweep we get it. Getting your chimney swept and cleaned out isn’t high on the list of the things you want to be doing on your weekend – it’s right up there with doing your taxes. (But we’d love to do it for you!…Your chimney…not your taxes.)

A dirty chimney posses a lot of problems to your home and your health. Once these problems are known it becomes clear that a clean chimney is in your best interest. Left unchecked a chimney left dirty and un-inspected for years is a serious issue. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

This is dangerous and unfortunately pretty common. It works like this. The by product of burning wood is carbon monoxide. That’s not necessarily a problem because a properly functioning chimney works by pulling that gas out of the house and up through the chimney. But what happens when a chimney is really dirty and no longer can pull that gas out of the chimney? That’s right, that carbon monoxide gas leaks out into your home causing sickness and vomiting or worse. 

Fire Hazard

The other by-product of burning wood is creosote. Creosote is a black tar like substance that hardens on the inside of your chimney. The problem with creosote is that is highly flammable. You’ve heard of chimney fires before. The main culprit behind them is creosote. Creosote can form pretty easily to the point where a wood burning stove that sees heavy use in the winter should be cleaned once every month or so. One way to stop the formation of creosote is to use wood that creates less of it – such as oak. 

Skin, Eye, and Lung Irritant

When your chimney is dirty it doesn’t function as it is designed to do. It can cause chimney’s not to exhaust gases as it should. Creosote can cause chimney fires. These two things can harm your body. Because of reduced air quality and harmful airborne particles these things can cause skin and eye irritation while also affecting your lungs – especially for those with asthma and other respiratory issues.

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Shown is a red brick chimney in Philadelphia with a large hearth that needs sweeping. To either side are two wood statues. Above is a large wood mantel.

When you need chimney sweeping and cleaning, please call Philadelphia Chimney Sweep!