Although coal is a great way to heat your home, it makes a lousy Christmas gift. However, you can expect a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking if you aren’t keeping your chimney and fireplace properly maintained. Santa knows how important annual inspections and sweepings are to the health of your chimney system and if you aren’t keeping up with your annual inspections, you can expect to get on Santa’s naughty list. We here at The Chimney Guy echo Santa’s concerns regarding annual chimney maintenance. There are a lot of good reasons why a chimney sweeping and inspection is suggested once a year and we here at The Chimney Guy would like to explain these reasons to you. We would also like to tell you why it is absolutely crucial that you have your chimney inspected by a highly experienced and certified chimney technician. Hiring an inexperienced chimney technician could lead to mistakes that could cost you time, money, and may even put you in a hazardous situation.
Why is servicing my chimney necessary?
Did you know that chimney fires are one of the leading causes of residential house fires? In fact, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) there is, on average, more than 20,000 residential house fires caused by chimney fires annually. The most unfortunate thing about chimney caused house fires is that a majority of them could have been prevented. Data from the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) states that the leading contributor to home heating fires is having a chimney, flue, or ventilation that hasn’t been properly swept. We here at The Chimney Guy can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your chimney maintained with annual chimney inspections and sweepings. Not only does it keep your chimney operating correctly, it also keeps you and your home safe.
Whether you are using wood, gas, coal, or pellets, all types of fuel release smoke, soot and gas byproducts. Some fuels, such as wood and coal, release a lot more byproducts than others, such as gas which releases small amounts. When these byproducts float up your chimney, they start to cool down and condense on the inside walls of your chimney. This condensation eventually begins to accumulate until it starts to form a thick tar-like substance. This substance is called Creosote. Creosote is combustible and when it catches on fire, it is nearly impossible to extinguish. Although you can slow down the accumulation of creosote in your chimney using proper fire building techniques, there is no preventative measure to totally stop creosote from building up inside your chimney. That is why it is essential to schedule an annual chimney sweeping to have it removed before it becomes an issue.
Who should service my chimney?
Since annual servicing is so important to the health of your chimney system and safety of your home, you should only have your chimney inspected by a chimney technician that has a lot of experience working on chimney systems. One of the best ways to determine if a chimney technician is qualified to work on your chimney is to find out if they have been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). The CSIA is one of the most rigorous and difficult certifications to achieve in the chimney service industry. Technicians need to go through a highly demanding training schedule related to chimney maintenance techniques and safety as well as testing and recertification process every two years. Getting a CSIA certification is no easy task, but it is critical if a chimney service provider wants to give the highest quality service possible to its customers.
At the Chimney Guy, we often run across issues that have been caused by underqualified or “do-it-yourself” chimney technicians. A common issue we see is not using the right tool for the job. For example, most people think that chimney sweeps always use metal brushes for sweeping. However, if you use a metal brush on a stainless steel chimney, you risk deionizing it, which can lead to issues with rusting. This is just one of many examples of issues we come across caused by chimney technicians that don’t have the proper training and experience to do the job correctly. At The Chimney Guy, we make sure that all of our chimney technicians are well-trained and CSIA certified before they are allowed to work on a chimney on their own. This way, we avoid making costly mistakes when providing service to our customers.
Santa expects a nice, clean chimney to come down this Christmas, so be sure to get your chimney serviced before the holiday season. We still have some appointment slots open before the holidays, so now is a great time to contact us to schedule an annual chimney inspection and sweeping. If you live in the Fox Valley or Green Bay area, you can call The Chimney Guy at 920-830-1920 or contact us online to ask about how we can keep your fireplace and chimney safe and operational this holiday season. From our homes to yours, The Chimney Guy wishes you the merriest of holiday seasons!