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Get Ahead By Making Your Annual Appointments

While we are still in the middle of the extreme heat and long days of summer, fall will be here in the blink of an eye! Make sure your fireplace is ready. How? By making your annual sweep and inspection appointments now.

Protect your chimney with annual maintenance.

Making Your Annual Appointments Image - Ann Arbor MI - Clean Sweeps of MichiganOur fireplaces and chimneys need regular TLC in order to burn their best. Having your chimney swept and inspected once per year is one of the best ways to help your fireplace burn safely and efficiently.

Why your chimney needs to be swept annually.

During the burning season soot, ash, and creosote can build up in the flue. A chimney sweeping removes any buildup and debris in the fireplace and flue. The result? A chimney that is clean and ready to use.

Removing creosote is one of the most important aspects of a chimney sweeping. Creosote is a naturally occurring byproduct of combustion; while burning all fuel sources can produce creosote, creosote buildup is most commonly seen in wood burning fireplaces. Having creosote removed by a certified chimney sweep is important, as it is extremely flammable. Ignition of creosote in the flue is the primary cause of most chimney fires!

Do you use your fireplace as a primary heat source in your home? If so, you may need to have your chimney swept more than once per year. In addition to an annual sweeping, chimneys should be swept when there is 1/8th of an inch of accumulation of soot. This amount of accumulation typically occurs after one full cord of wood has been burned.

The importance of annual inspections.

There are very few homeowners who are brave enough to climb onto their roofs; likewise, most chimneys are difficult – if not impossible – to see completely from street level. Due to this, chimney damage can go unnoticed for long periods of time. Chimney inspections are the best way to stay apprised of the condition of your chimney – without the risk of climbing on your own roof!

“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”

Chimney inspections are an important part of your chimney maintenance – no matter how often you use your fireplace. Since chimney damage can occur whether you use your fireplace one or 100 times during the year, all homeowners should have an annual inspection done.

Inspections are often the first line of defense in identifying chimney damage. Minor damage such as small masonry cracks or shifting chimney caps can often be quickly and easily repaired, protecting your chimney from further damage and saving you money on costly future repairs.

Schedule your appointment today!

On long and hot summer days, using your fireplace may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, scheduling annual chimney maintenance now will ensure your fireplace system is safe and ready to use this fall. To schedule your next chimney sweeping and inspection, contact the experts at Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

Don’t Be On Santa’s Dirty List!

Christmas is just around the corner. It’s only a matter of days until St. Nick himself is ready to slide down your chimney to deliver presents. This year, make sure you don’t get put on the naughty list for having a dirty chimney. Get your chimney swept before Christmas arrives!

Don't Be On Santa's Dirty List Image - Ann Arbor MI - Clean SweepsHow often should my chimney be swept?

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or CSIA, all chimneys should be swept at least once per year. This guideline applies to all fuel-burning heating appliances. Including gas fireplace and appliances, wood and pellet stoves, and inserts. Chimney sweepings help remove any buildup of soot, ash, and creosote in the fireplace and flue. They also check for blockages in the flue and any signs of damage or deterioration to the chimney structure.

Annual chimney sweeps should still be done even if your fireplace is only rarely or infrequently used. In fact, sweepings in these situations can even be more important! If a fireplace is only used a few times per year, many of the performance problems that indicate a chimney issue may not be immediately noticed. Because of this, an annual sweep can help determine if there are any blockages, problems, or damage to the fireplace or chimney.

If your home’s fireplace or stove is used as a primary heat source it may need to be swept more often. As a general rule, a chimney should be swept any time there is 1/8th of an inch of soot accumulation in the flue. Under normal conditions this amount of buildup is caused by burning, on average, a full cord of wood. If you are using more than a cord of wood each burning season, you may need to have your chimney swept again mid-winter.

Benefits of a swept chimney:

An annual chimney sweeping is about more than just keeping Santa’s red suit clean. The following are just a few of the benefits of having a swept chimney.

  1.  Improve venting. A buildup of soot or other debris in the flue can prevent proper venting. This causes smoke, ash, and other byproducts of combustion to back up into your home.
  2. Avoid chimney fires! Creosote, a highly flammable byproduct of fuel burning fires, can accumulate in the flue over time. If not removed, it can be accidentally ignited by stray sparks or embers from the chimney, leading to a damaging chimney fire. Creosote ignition is the leading cause of chimney fire – and is entirely preventable with regular chimney sweepings.
  3. Prevent chimney damage. Creosote does more than just cause chimney fires. It can also damage your chimney liner and flue. Regularly removing creosote and soot, as well as having the exterior of the chimney structure inspected, can help prevent chimney damage. In addition, it can extend the lifespan of your fireplace system.

Don’t get on Santa’s naughty list by having a dirty chimney this year. Instead, contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today to schedule your chimney sweep – before Christmas arrives!

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