For many of us, having our chimneys cleaned ranks with getting our septic tanks pumped or changing the oil in the lawn mower. We know it should be done, but we put it off until we’re worried their might be a problem.
Or worse: Many homeowners, especially those who don’t burn wood on a regular basis, never think of checking their chimney, let alone having it professionally inspected and cleaned.
That’s a potentially-dangerous mistake.
Creosote buildup is the number one danger of a dirty chimney. Besides being corrosive, creosote is combustible and the number one source of chimney fires – which often spread quickly and tragically to your house itself.
Compounding the confusion for many homeowners is the varying degree of creosote buildup, not only from home to home and chimney to chimney, but from woodpile to woodpile and season to season.
Creosote buildup in a chimney varies greatly, depending not only on fixed factors like the type of stove or fireplace and location of the flue, but from one type of wood to another. Wetter wood will build more creosote than dryer wood, and they type of fire burned and frequency of use – all variables for most of us – can have a huge impact on creosote buildup.
Headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, Advanced Chimney Sweeps – founded by a firefighter in 1989 – is the Atlanta area’s experts at inspecting, cleaning and maintaining chimneys to ensure maximum safety and efficiency. Besides cleaning, Advanced Chimney Sweeps can identify chimney problems and make repairs and advise on the best ways to prevent and control creosote buildup.
While chimney cleaning is not a do-it-yourself job – it is both dangerous and dirty and must be done by a trained and professional expert – homeowners can do a quick inspection to identify potential creosote problems. Using a flashlight, look past the flue and check that creosote has not built up to a thickness of one-eighth inch or more.
But better yet, call Advanced Chimney Sweeps to make sure your chimney, and thus your wood burning stove or fireplace and your entire house, is safe from the dangers of a potentially tragic chimney fire.
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