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Post Holiday Cleaning

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.

Buying Or Selling A Home? Have The Chimney Inspected!

When buying or selling a home, many homeowners falsely believe that a home inspection will catch any chimney issues. However, while home inspectors may be able to spot problems in other parts of a home, most are not qualified to conduct a thorough chimney inspection. Because of this, it is important to have your chimney inspected before buying or selling a home.

By having the chimney inspected before a home is bought or sold, both buyers and sellers can have peace of mind that the fireplace and chimney are safe and ready for use.

Buying or Selling a home have the chimney inspected - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MI

Chimney inspections for home buyers

Homebuyers want to make sure their new investment is safe and sound for themselves and their family. If the new house has a fireplace, this includes making sure the chimney is in good condition. Once under contract on a home, buyers can request an independent chimney sweep conduct an inspection in addition to a home inspection.

Even if the sellers have an inspection report from a chimney sweep, you can still ask to have another sweep do an independent inspection. This second inspection can confirm the findings of the chimney report – or uncover issues that were not previously disclosed. Having the chimney independently inspected can ensure that any fireplace or chimney issues are fixed before the sale is finalized.

If you recently bought a new home but the sellers did not include findings from a chimney inspection in their disclosures, you may want to have the chimney inspected before lighting your first fire. This is especially true if you bought an older home, a home that was unoccupied for a long period of time before purchase, or a home where the fireplace was rarely or infrequently used.

Chimney inspections for home sellers

No matter your reasons for selling your current home, you should consider having the chimney swept and inspected before putting it on the market. Not only does have the chimney swept and inspected give you a cleaner and more efficient fireplace system, but it can also alert you of any chimney damage that has occurred or repairs that need to be made. Finding chimney damage before you put your home on the market gives you plenty of time to make repairs as well as reduces the risk of any unpleasant surprises being uncovered during the home inspection. In addition to allowing you to make repairs, having a report from a certified chimney sweep can also help put buyers at ease about the condition of the chimney.

If you have experienced any significant chimney damage, you may be required to have an inspection. In cases of chimney damage such as a chimney fire or other natural disaster, a Level 2 chimney inspection may be needed; in this type of inspection, closed-circuit cameras are used to evaluate the entire length of the chimney for signs of damage or deterioration.

Having a chimney inspection done before buying or selling a home can make sure there are no problems with the fireplace and chimney and give everyone involved peace of mind. If you’re getting ready to sell your home or are about to sign the paperwork on a new home purchase, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today to schedule your chimney inspection.

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