When do your chimney and fireplace require a professional clean?

When do your chimney and fireplace require a professional clean?
Keeping your chimney and fireplace clean has a lot more benefits besides basic hygiene. A clean chimney and fireplace reduces a smoky odour in the home, allows a fire to burn nicely, prevents smoke from billowing into living spaces and decreases the chance of a fire emergency.

Maintaining a clean chimney limits the chance of a chimney fire. The signs of a chimney fire include loud cracking noises from inside the chimney, dense smoke and a burning smell that is more intense than usual. Chimney fires are caused by the burning of residue deposits or soot on the inner lining of the chimney. By cleaning your chimney regularly, you can prevent a build-up of sooty deposits.

Here are some easy tips on how to know when its time to call in professional cleaners for your chimney and fireplace:

Some signs that indicate when your chimney and fireplace need a thorough clean, include a burning odour coming from the fireplace when it is used, fires that burn poorly in the fireplace, or a sooty and black damper. A damper is a plate or valve that regulates the airflow inside a chimney and functions as a fire control mechanism. They are situated above the fireplace and are easy to see. Check yours to make sure it is not covered in black chunks of sediment. If it is; your fireplace and chimney are in need of professional cleaning.

How often you will need to clean your fireplace and chimney depends on how often your fireplace is in use. The type of wood you burn in your fireplace also impacts how often you will need a professional cleaner. Wet or green wood causes more smoke, which can lead to increased build-ups of soot and sediment which, therefore, causes your fireplace and chimney to need more regular cleans. Most professionals recommend that you have your chimney and fireplace thoroughly cleaned once a year. Many homeowners choose to get their chimney cleaned during autumn to make sure that any falling debris, such as leaves from overhanging trees, can be removed.