Making sure your chimney is in top shape is a bit more complicated than it seems. That’s why Chimney Doctors, your trusted chimney masonry repair experts, answers some of the common questions our clients have about chimney maintenance.
How Often Should I Have My Chimney Cleaned?
The number one question on homeowners’ minds is a bit difficult to answer. The National Fire Protection Association recommends inspecting your chimneys, alongside your fireplaces and vents, at least once a year. For the Chimney Safety Institute of America, however, the minimum would depend on the buildup in your chimney. If there’s at least an eighth of an inch of soot on your chimney lining, it’s time to have an inspection.
What Would Happen If I Forget to Check My Chimneys Once in a While?
There’s a chance the acidic buildup will eat away your chimney. And if that happens, cracks might appear on your flue lining. This is a problem because the flue lining flushes carbon monoxide from the house. The odorless and colorless gas might leak into your home, compromising your family’s safety. If you do find any cracks in your flue lining, call a chimney relining company to have it fixed right away.
And even if the flue doesn’t get damaged, removing creosote, the tar-like stuff that lines your chimney, is a bit of a pain, especially since it involves using professional-grade chemicals. Preventive maintenance is important in this case.
How Do I Get My Money’s Worth When Hiring a Chimney Sweep?
You can usually gauge a chimney sweep’s competence by asking them to do a level 1, 2 or 3 chimney inspection. If they don’t know what any of these mean, find a sweep that does. Here’s a quick overview of these levels:
People request level 1 chimney inspections when they haven’t encountered any problems with their chimneys and just want to have the more accessible parts checked.
A level 2 inspection is for homeowners who are thinking of switching to a new kind of fuel or relining their chimney flue. A level 2 inspection is also recommended after any accident that might have damaged the chimney.
A level 3 inspection is the most comprehensive of the three. A contractor doing one would look at the concealed parts of a chimney and might even have to remove certain parts of the chimney or building if necessary. A level 3 inspection is usually requested if a homeowner thinks their chimney was badly damaged.
If you’re looking for someone to inspect your chimney, why not try Chimney Doctors? You can reach us at (518) 633-5900 or via this form. We serve clients in Clifton Park, NY.