Summer is gone and even in Louisiana fall is in full swing. As the evenings grow cooler you may be interested in using your fireplace to entertain friends or just relax into the night. Although this time is known as the “fall rush” by the industry, you still have time to have your chimney swept before winter.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends regular chimney sweeps in order to keep your chimney clean, safe, and efficient. It’s when the chimney is neglected that problems arise.
Using a Dirty Chimney
When organic fuel (wood, gas, oil) is burned it releases natural byproducts that are vented up the chimney flue. What we see as just smoke is actually a combination of water vapor, carbon monoxide, soot, and tar. The soot and tar, called creosote, settles onto the sides of the chimney flue, and can build up over time. If given enough time, creosote builds, melts, cools, and hardens into a smooth form of creosote called glazed creosote. Glazed creosote, also known as level three creosote, is extremely flammable and drastically increases the risk of flue fire.
Benefits of a Chimney Sweep
In a mild climate like Louisiana, homeowners might assume that your chimney doesn’t need sweeping. This is an unsafe assumption to make! When fire burns, harmful byproducts are released naturally, and they naturally settle onto the chimney walls. This can happen more in our mild climate because the fire may not be hot enough to push the vapors up the chimney. When the draft is compromised, the chimney won’t work correctly resulting in the vapors stalling in the chimney and settling on the flue walls. A simple chimney sweep appointment can take care of it.
Another good reason to have your chimney swept before winter is because creosote, ashes, and soot can become very stinky if allowed to build up. Also, again, the climate in Louisiana means warm days periodically through the winter. When the chimney warms up and humidity hits your dirty chimney, it becomes very noticeable—and not in a good way. Avoid the nasty odors by keeping the chimney clean, but especially before winter.
Find a Chimney Professional
As important as it is to keep up with chimney maintenance, it’s just as important to find a professional to do it! A CSIA certified chimney sweep can clean even glazed creosote with special industry tools that leave your chimney as clean as new. New Buck Chimney Services offers the best chimney sweep services in the Shreveport area, and our experience of over twenty years means our customers continue to put their trust in us.
For more information about how you can have your safest and most efficient chimney this winter call us at New Buck Chimney Services or request an appointment online.