Have you had your annual chimney cleaning completed yet? Summer is in its last days, and that means that autumn and cooler weather are just around the corner. With cooler weather comes days of leaf raking and burning, house cleaning and window washing, and for many of you, starting up the fireplace to take the chill out of the air. Soon you’ll be thinking of snowy weather, and then that fireplace will really see some use! Ifact now you haven’t had your chimney inspection and cleaning completed yet, there’s no time like the present to beat the fall rush.

How Do You Know It’s Time?

The number one way to know if it’s time for a cleaning is by looking at your calendar. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), your chimney needs to be cleaned and inspected at least on a yearly basis. So if it’s been over a year, chances are you better be giving SirVent Washington DC a call. There are several things we’ll be looking for when we do an inspection, including looking at the condition of the chimney liner and making sure your chimney is structurally sound. Another thing we’ll be looking for is creosote buildup.

Every time you use your fireplace, smoke is released and with it, chemicals. When smoke reaches the higher, cooler spots on the interior of your chimney, this smoke condenses and forms a layer of mucky buildup called creosote. This is a highly flammable substance, and it can lead to chimney fires with as little as an eighth of an inch of buildup. If you use your fireplace often, it doesn’t take long for this much to build up. Creosote also has a rank odor, so if you’ve been noticing that there’s a smell that seems to permeate even your carpet, drapes, and furniture, chances are its creosote. Give us a call and we’ll take care of creosote removal, and we’ll do it with the minimum amount of mess as well.

Another thing to look for is leaks. If you’ve noticed that there are wet spots or stains on your ceiling or walls around your fireplace, or if you see that the baseboards are spongy or wet, it may be that your chimney is leaking. There are several areas that could be causing the problem, such as a cracked or damaged chimney cap or crown, loose flashing, a cracked chimney liner, or weakened mortar. Whatever is causing the leaks, it’s important to get to the bottom of the problem and make sure the leaking area is sealed up before more damage is sustained. Not only can we find the leaks, but we can also fix them up and offer a waterproofing coating that will make sure those leaks don’t return.

Call the Experts

If you know it’s time for a chimney sweeping, give SirVent Washington DC a call soon. We can still fit you on our scheduling calendar with a minimum amount of wait time. Call before those cool breezes of autumn make you want to use your fireplace!