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Post Holiday Cleaning

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The holidays have come and gone; visiting family has returned home, the presents have been unwrapped, and festive décor has been put back into storage. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind us, now is the time to schedule your chimney cleaning!

Many families use their fireplaces more during the holiday season than at any other time of year. This additional use – coupled with any inappropriate or unsafe materials that may have been thrown into the fire over the holidays – often means that chimneys are ready to be swept and inspected by the time the new year arrives.

How Winter Weather Affects Our Chimneys

The fireplace and chimney are more susceptible to damage in the cold, harsh months of winter than at any other time of year. One of the primary ways that chimneys are damaged during the winter is through the freeze-thaw cycle.

During the freeze-thaw cycle, water is absorbed by tiny holes or cracks in the naturally porous brick. When temperatures drop below freezing, the water turns to ice and expands before melting again when the temperatures warm. This creates progressively larger and larger holes that can create significant structural damage to a chimney in as little as one winter.

Chimney Sweepings Prevent Fires and Improve Efficiency

Having your chimney swept at least once per year is the best way to improve the safety and efficiency of your fireplace. Removing soot, ash, and highly flammable creosote can improve venting and reduce the risk of chimney fire. However, if fireplaces are used daily or as a primary heat source it may need to be swept more. Fireplaces that burn more than one cord of wood during a season should be swept more than once, particularly during the period of heaviest use.

Chimney Inspections Prevent Long-term Damage and Save Money

Most homeowners spend as little time on their roofs as possible, maybe accessing it one to two times per year. This, coupled with a lack of knowledge about the chimney system, can make it nearly impossible to notice chimney damage until a minor issue has turned into a major one.

A damaged or deteriorating chimney can affect your home in a number of ways. Cracked and damaged masonry can fall off, causing damage to your home or roofing materials; gaps or cracks in the masonry can also allow water, debris, and even animals into the chimney, further damaging the chimney system. Damaged chimneys may also vent incorrectly, increasing the risk of serious air quality issues including carbon monoxide poisoning.

An annual inspection by a certified chimney sweep can help uncover chimney issues that may otherwise go unnoticed. By identifying areas of damage when they are still small, the chimney can often be easily repaired. As part of your regular chimney maintenance, a chimney sweeping can prevent you from being blindsided by chimney or fireplace repairs in the future.

Start the year off right by scheduling your next chimney cleaning. Contact the expert staff at Clean Sweeps of Michigan today to schedule your next chimney sweeping or inspection to get your year started with a clean, safe fireplace system.