Many experts recommend that you have your chimney inspected at least once a year, preferably before the winter season. Here are a few reasons why.
Checking for Creosote
Creosote is a natural byproduct that is formed when wood is burned, and it can build up on the inside of your chimney and firebox over time. It appears as some feathery soot or a black tarry substance. Too much of it can be a fire hazard, so it should be removed before it can build up on the walls of your chimney. An annual inspection can help determine how much creosote has built up in your chimney and whether it should be cleaned out.
Checking for Damage
A chimney may seem sturdy at a glance, but it is actually prone to a lot of damage that could be a problem if it isn’t repaired. Moisture can get into the masonry and mortar and literally break it apart, bricks can loosen, and small animals can even make their way inside of them. Although there are some things you can look for such as shaling or deteriorating mortar, a professional chimney inspector will be able to identify a lot of potential issues that could become problems in the future.
If you use your fireplace regularly during the winter, you should definitely find a good chimney cleaning and inspection company near you. There’s no hard and fast rule to how often you should have your chimney cleaned or inspected, but the safest practice is to have your fireplace and chimney inspected before the winter season will require you to need your fireplace. Even if you don’t use your fireplace often or you haven’t used it in years, an inspection or a cleaning is always a good idea.