5 Reasons Why You Should Clean Your Chimney

Feb 20, 2024

Do you have a fireplace? Spring is a great time to schedule a professional chimney sweep. Discover the top five reasons why by reading on.

No More Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a colorless gas. It’s dangerous because it doesn’t have an odor. It is released when you burn materials that contain carbon. Carbon monoxide is highly toxic.

Without proper sweeping, your chimney may get blocked. This would prevent carbon monoxide from venting. As a result, it will back up into your home.

Minimize the Risk of a Chimney Fire

Creosote can ignite even with a small spark. So, you should consider it a serious fire hazard. What’s a chimney fire?

The first sign of most chimney fires is a flame escaping from the top of the chimney.  This is often undetectable by the occupants of the home while at the same time possibly causing the roof to catch fire.

Signs of creosote buildup in your chimney include the following:

  • Thick, tar-like substance coating the chimney walls
  • Strong, acrid odor emanating from your fireplace or chimney
  • Buildup of soot or dark, powdery residue around the fireplace or in the hearth
  • Reduced airflow or difficulty starting fires

Routine cleaning & maintenance of the chimney is the solution.

Ensure No Animals Are Nesting in Your Chimney

In Santa Clara County and the South Bay area, our wonderful wildlife—birds, squirrels, and raccoons—often perceive chimneys as cozy nesting places. Sadly, their nests can obstruct airflow and pose fire hazards.

To prevent this, install a chimney cap or screen to keep animals out. Regular chimney cleanings and inspections can help detect signs of nesting activity early on.

Keep Your House Fresh

During humid summer months, the scent of excessive creosote deposits can permeate your home. This is the number one source of unpleasant odors. Don’t let chimney odors spoil the freshness of your living space!

Why Clean Your Chimney in Spring?

Why bother cleaning your chimney in the spring? Well, think about skipping the chaos and frenzy of fall. During spring, you’re more likely to find a chimney sweep who can accommodate your schedule.

At Chimney Clean Company, Inc, we keep homeowners safe by meticulously cleaning their chimneys. If you live in Santa Clara County and the South Bay area, contact us today!

Smoking back

There are many fireplaces that seem to smoke back into the house no matter what is done. In our experience, the most common cause is that the fireplace simply needs to be cleaned. This is especially likely if the fireplace has gotten worse over time, that is, the smoking back is worse now than it used to be.

Several other possible causes of smoking back are problems with the damper, chimney cap, grate, firewood, or structural problems with the chimney itself. At Chimney Clean Company, we do a full inspection with every cleaning, or we can also do just the inspection if the chimney doesn’t need to be cleaned. This inspection is designed to reveal any causes of smoking back.

Broken chimneys

In the Bay Area, many chimneys were broken in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Usually, these chimneys are broken at or near the roof line, although sometimes they can be broken further down, even at the ground level.

We are fully licensed masonry contractors. We rebuild broken chimneys. If they are broken at the roof line, this usually entails taking the chimney part of the way down brick by brick, installing steel reinforcing bars, getting an inspection from a city inspector, then rebuilding the chimney back up around the steel rebar.

Missing mortar or damaged bricks

Over time, many chimneys develop places that are missing mortar between bricks, or damaged bricks, either inside the firebox or on the outside of the chimney. These areas can usually be repaired, either by replacing the missing mortar or replacing the bricks themselves. Items such as these can be dangerous because they can allow flames, sparks or hot gases to enter the structure of the house.

Water entry

Sometimes the metal that seals the chimney at the roof, called “flashing”, will come loose or develop leaks. In this case, water sometimes comes into the ceiling of the room and causes water spots and stains on the sheet rock. This flashing should be repaired before the water causes more damage.