And so the debate begins. Do I need a chimney cleaning or chimney sweep?
Oh the argument may be – I burn hot so don’t need cleaning. Or maybe I burn potato skins, pop cans or the creosote sweeping logs – they clean my chimney for me.
Well there can be other posts on many of those topics.
The first – burning hot is NOT a good idea – especially for an extended period and can damage chimneys, flue pipes and even the stove itself. We have seen more than one warped damper in a wood stove, in case it did not occur to you that is not supposed to happen and if it does you are burning at dangerously high temperatures.
But Why And When Should I get my Chimney Cleaned?
Fundamentally the chimney sweep is to clean the chimney, flue pipes and stove removing any ash and soot that exists, inspecting system and in some cases doing minor repairs. The sweep should be able to remove any and all soot, blockages and creosote buildup.
Really it only requires a very small amount of creosote glazing to create the potential for a chimney fire. Creosote is highly flammable, a condensation of flue gases which were unburned in the firebox. How fast creosote accumulates depends on your system, what you burn, how much you burn and how you burn it. Some will say that soft wood like pipe creates more creosote, that in fact is a myth from years gone by – assuming the wood is dry it is all good to burn and has been proven by University studies.
Chimney Inspections Should Occur Annually.
Actually the Ontario Fire Codes states annual inspections are mandatory. Your insurance company may ask for proof if there is every a problem. This is to ensure that your entire system is in good working order and operating as designed. Most homeowners will opt to get a chimney cleaning at the same time.
But do you really need a cleaning? It really depends on what you burn, how much you burn and your system used and how you use it. Some stoves burn cleaner than others. Seasoned wood will burn cleaner. Burning more creates more build up.
Having said that, anybody who says you need a cleaning after every full cord of wood – or every bush cord – is very likely simply taking money out of your pocket. Most DO NOT need a cleaning that frequently. Many can go two cords or sometimes even three before they really need cleaning. Studies however have shown that 2mm of build up will sustain a chimney fire at 3mm the Fire Code says you MUST have it cleaned.
Who Should Clean My Chimney?
There are many offering chimney cleaning services and their work varies considerably.
First look for a WETT Certified Chimney Sweep. Ask if they are a CERTIIFED CHIMNEY SWEEP. Some are certified inspectors but NOT sweeps. There is a difference.
Get that PEACE of MIND in knowing it is done properly.
We have WETT Certified Advanced Chimney Sweep, WETT Certified Advanced Technician and WETT Certified Comprehensive Inspector to help you today.