The most important maintenance task to ensure fireplace safety, chimney sweeping should be done at least once a year. According to The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), and other fire safety organizations, an annual chimney sweeping and inspection is necessary to keep your family safe from possible chimney fires and other dangers. Our chimney sweeps at The Mad Hatter are all professionally trained to perform experienced chimney cleaning and inspecting. We, along with the NFPA, recommend you have your chimney swept before fall arrives to be certain your fireplace is ready for the colder months. There are several reasons why you should schedule your chimney sweeping in late summer, and we’d like to share these with you.
Removing Creosote Deposits
A dangerously hazardous compound, creosote is a natural result of the condensation process. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it is close to impossible to stop creosote from developing and building up on your chimney walls. Highly combustible, creosote is one of the main causes of chimney fires, and if you have large deposits of creosote inside your chimney, the likelihood of a fire occurring is greater when you begin to use your fireplace again in the fall and winter. According to the NFPA, 50% of all chimney fires happen during the months of December, January, and February, and the main cause is large creosote deposits left behind from the previous cold seasons. Having your chimney swept by our sweeps at The Mad Hatter Indy before fall is strongly recommended. Creosote can also cause bad odors in your fireplace during the summer due to high humidity. Our experienced chimney sweeps know how to remove all creosote deposits from your chimney, which makes it safer to burn a fire and gets rid of any strong odors you may have.
Checking For Essential Repairs
The NFPA states in their fire safety standard 211: “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” If your chimney does need repair work, it should be performed before fall so you can safely use your fireplace during the cooler months. Our chimney sweeps will thoroughly inspect your chimney to check for water-penetration damage like spalling (loose bricks and chipped mortar) as well as your chimney crown and chimney cap. To prevent further deterioration and structural damage, our expert technicians can repair masonry problems as well as replace damaged chimney caps and crowns, which help to keep water out of your chimney.
Remove Animal Nesting
When the weather turns cold, many animals like birds, squirrels, and raccoons look for a safe place to nest for the winter. When the weather gets warmer, they move out and leave behind nests and other debris in your chimney, which can also cause chimney fires. A professional chimney sweeping from The Mad Hatter includes removing any animal nesting from your chimney to make it safe to burn a fire in your fireplace. We strongly recommend you never attempt to remove live animals from your chimney yourself. Animal removal can be a dangerous task, and there are certain species of birds like chimney swifts which are protected by law from chimney removal. Always call The Mad Hatter if you suspect an animal has taken up residence in your chimney.
Ready to schedule your annual chimney sweeping? Contact the Mad Hatter today to schedule an appointment before fall arrives.