Monday, December 10, 2012

Do you really need to clean your chimney?


Do you really need to clean your chimney?


This is a question I receive from many of my clients after I have built them a new home.

You absolutely have to clean your chimney. The amount that you have to clean the chimney is the real question.

If you seldom use your fireplace then you only need to have the chimney cleaned once a year. You should have the chimney cleaned in the late summer or the early fall just before you will be getting ready to use it.

The reason that you clean it at that time is so that if any birds or animals have made their home in the chimney flue then the cleaning will remove it.

If you use your fireplace a lot then you should have it cleaned twice a year, once in the early fall and once late in the winter.

The reason that you have to get your chimney cleaned is because when you burn wood you release creosote that rises up the chimney in the smoke. As the smoke cools near the top of the chimney the creosote is deposited on the sides of the chimney walls. Over time the creosote builds up and will create problems.

Some of the problems that built up creosote creates are as follows;

The more creosote that builds up on the side walls of the chimney lining the more is restricted. When air is restricted in the chimney the fireplace has trouble drawing air and so in turn the fireplace doesn’t work as well because it is starving for air.

Creosote builds up and causes heat to stay trapped in the chimney, as heat builds in the chimney the creosote particles can ignite causing a fire in the chimney. Many houses have burnt down because of chimney fires.

Prevention of chimney fires is the most important reason to clean your chimney.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.


  1. Hey there! I'm glad to stop by your site and know more about chimney sweep. Keep it up! This is a good read. I will be looking forward to visit your page again and for your other posts as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about chimney sweep in your area.
    Sweeping of the wide flues of these low buildings was often done by the householder himself, using a ladder to pass a wide brush down the chimney. In a narrow flue, a bag of bricks and brushwood would be dropped down the chimney. But in longer flues climbing boys were used, complete with the UK tradition of coercion and persuasion using burning straw and pins in the feet and the buttocks. Sweeping was not a popular trade. During the eighteenth century the employment of Negro men and boys spread from the south to the north. Negro sweeps were not popular, and were thought to be inefficient and their shoddy work responsible for many fires. It was claimed that there were fewer fires in London where chimneys were swept by white boys than in New York. As in the UK, Smart's sweeping machine was available in the US shortly after 1803, but few were used. Unlike the UK, there were no societies formed to advocate the climbing boys' lot. The one novel produced in the states in 1854, championed the cause of 'Tit', a London climbing boy, contrasting his fate with the good conditions experienced by a Negro slave, 'Tat'. Descriptions gleaned of the boys' working conditions differ in one respect: the masters hired the sweep boys "from their owners".
    Chimney Tuckpointing & Chimney Rebuilds: We will grind and re-mortar any deteriorating joints and rebuild any aged or destroyed parts of a chimney to have it looking and functioning like new again.

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  2. This is a very important article! I think chimneys are important if you have a fireplace in your home because it's where the smoke comes out. However, if you live in an area with a prevailing hot climate, then I don't see the need to build one. It'll just cost you more because you have to clean it and maintain it every now and then.

    Lakisha Autin