What happens if you don't clean your fireplace?

If the chimney is not cleaned once a year, creosote builds up in the chimney, which can cause a chimney fire. In addition, a dirty chimney can cause the buildup of toxic and deadly gases, such as carbon monoxide, that are harmful to inhalation. If your home has one or more chimneys, cleaning the chimney is a necessary task to maintain its healthy, long-lasting operation and avoid dangerous ramifications within your home. Ignoring this critical chimney cleaning task can lead to blockage and build up of toxic fumes inside your home.

These gases are by-products of the combustion process of fires and humans are not intended to inhale them. They can cause serious respiratory problems and, in the worst case, suffocation or carbon monoxide poisoning. Ultimately, it's much more than an aesthetic issue if you neglect your fireplace, but a health problem. Did you also know that the main cause of fires in houses that have chimneys is a fire in the chimneys? Too many people die needlessly every year from a fire that started in a dirty chimney.

When the chimney is not cleaned for a long time, a substance called creosote continues to build up in the flue pipe during the use of the chimney. This creosote is highly flammable and can cause a dangerous chimney fire (an uncontrolled 2000 degree fire that burns inside the chimney). First, your fireplace can catch fire, and then the fire will immediately spread to different parts of your home. One of the most dangerous ingredients in chimney smoke is wood tar.

When wood burns incompletely, it releases a thick, tar-filled smoke. The tar sticks to the inside of the chimney and chimney, forming a black layer of creosote. Creosote is highly flammable, and a chimney or chimney with a thick buildup of creosote poses a serious fire hazard. In fact, the number one cause of domestic fires is creosote buildup in chimneys and chimneys.

Failure to clean the chimney can cause blockage and build up of toxic fumes in your home. These gases can suffocate occupants or cause respiratory problems. A clogged chimney can also be a fire hazard and have other, less dangerous consequences, such as dust and dirt accumulating inside the house. If you are not sure if your chimney needs cleaning, a professional inspection will determine if the chimney needs to be cleaned and, if followed as recommended annually, you should have no problems.

You can also end up with snow and water entering the chimney if you don't regularly inspect and clean it. You should do an annual inspection, so you can also use it as a point to ask your professional chimney sweep if the chimney needs to be cleaned, as they will be able to easily know when they perform an inspection. Even if you don't see a lot of creosote build up, or if you don't want to check it yourself, you should inspect and clean your chimney at least once a year. The unfortunate part of cleaning a chimney is that there are no obvious warning signs, but there is reliable advice from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Another thing to consider when cleaning the chimney is to ensure that the airflow is uninterrupted and unidirectional. An examination by an experienced chimney sweep is the only way to know if your chimney, whether masonry or metal, needs cleaning. A cleaning once a year will maintain the safety and integrity of your chimney structure, keeping it functional. If you experience any of the signs mentioned above, you know it's time to schedule your chimney and its cleaning.

We have a team of qualified and dedicated technicians who can assist you with chimney inspection and cleaning. We have been serving the Chicago area with the best chimney cleaning and repair services for more than 30 years. Even so, some homeowners continue to ignore this significant risk and don't take appropriate steps when it comes to cleaning chimneys. Chimney cleaning is a dirty job, but modern tools and technology have made it safer, easier and cleaner.

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Vicki Morris
Vicki Morris

Writer. Avid food trailblazer. Friendly internet enthusiast. Infuriatingly humble troublemaker. Avid web guru.