Select Page

Our Company Blog

It’s never too late to have your chimney cleaned

The winter months are drawing to a close, and spring soon will be upon us. If you have failed to have your chimney cleaned and inspected, you may assume that it’s too late, now that the fire-burning season is drawing to a close. However, it’s never too late to have your chimney cleaned!

In fact, the end of the burning season can be the perfect time for your annual and inspection! A spring chimney cleaning can reduce your risk of a chimney fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and chimney damage.Have Your Chimney Cleaned Image - Sacramento CA - A to Z Chimney Services

Reduce your risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning

A spring chimney sweeping will clear out any of the creosote from this year’s fires. A buildup of highly flammable creosote is the leading cause of chimney fires, meaning that cleaning it out of your chimney drastically reduces your risk of a chimney fire. Blockages in your chimney, whether from creosote, animal nests or other debris, also can prevent carbon monoxide from exiting your fireplace, putting your family at risk from a deadly buildup of the gas within your home.

Additionally, the soot and creosote left in your chimney is highly corrosive. If you wait until the fall to have your chimney cleaned after the previous burning season, you’re allowing those corrosive materials to break down the inner walls of your chimney. A buildup of creosote also can have intrusive side effects — creosote can leave an unpleasant smell in your house during the warm, humid summer months. A cleaning and inspection at the end of the burning season is especially important if you have a pellet-burning appliance: Trapped pellets can swell in summer’s humidity, causing damage to your stove or fireplace.

Identify and address chimney damage

A spring chimney sweeping and inspection also identifies any water or fire damage your chimney endured during the fire burning season, giving you the opportunity to address it before it becomes a major issue. If you have your chimney inspected now and damage is found, that gives you plenty of time to determine the best way to approach repairs and have those repairs performed before you’re ready to use it again next fall.

Remember, any chimney damage, from water leaks to crumbing masonry, should be addressed as soon as it is identified. If minor damage is ignored, it can lead to major, expensive repairs in the future. And failing a failing chimney also can put your home at risk of a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

If you live around Sacramento, CA, and you’re overdue for your chimney sweeping and inspection, or if you prefer to have your chimney swept at the end of the fire-burning season, give the certified chimney sweeps at A to Z Chimney Services a call to schedule an appointment. It’s never too late for your annual chimney cleaning!

Watch Out for Creosote!

Buildup Is a Bad Word

It might not have four letters, but buildup is definitely a word you don’t want to hear when it comes to your chimney. This is true of just about anything around the house: whether it’s the grime or gunk on the shower, tub, sink, floors, windows…you get the picture—buildup usually means we’ve allowed something unpleasant to layer up, resulting in extra work spraying, scrubbing, and sweating to remove whatever-it-is.

Your chimney suffers from buildup, too—only this kind of buildup isn’t harmless and can’t be resolved with a little extra elbow grease. Creosote is a natural by-product of a wood fire. It starts as vapors made of unburned gases and turns into tar-like glop that likes to stick to the inside of your chimney flue. It has a bad smell, kind of like asphalt or tar, but this isn’t the worst thing about it. When it builds up inside your flue, it traps heat inside the chimney instead of letting it out, which can generate enough heat for the creosote to catch fire. Creosote is a fuel, and a highly combustible one, that causes an average of 24,000 home fires per year.

Creosote buildup can increase substantially if you are burning green or wet wood. Make sure to use properly seasoned firewood.

Creosote buildup can increase substantially if you are burning green or wet wood. Make sure to use properly seasoned firewood.

Home fires aren’t the only thing that creosote buildup is responsible for. Not only is it a fuel, but it is also corrosive and can damage the flue lining, causing erosion or cracks that lead to other problems, like water damage, that affect the structure of your home.

A to Z can take care of this chimney menace for you. We are certified to sweep your chimney, which is just another way of saying we get rid of creosote and make sure your chimney is free of any obstruction that might cause a chimney fire and endanger you and your home.

Having your chimney inspected and cleaned annually is the best way to ward off the ominous creosote buildup, and doing it during the spring and summer is really the best way to go. The fireplace may be the last thing on your mind when it’s hot outside and you’re doing everything you can to stay cool, but it’s important to get rid of the creosote right after the cold season, that way it doesn’t have time to sit and corrode your chimney flue all year while your fireplace isn’t in use. So don’t wait around—we make it easy to schedule your appointment—you can give us a call or fill in this quick online form to get started today.