What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Chimney?

A piping hot mug of chocolate, some fuzzy blankets, and a wood fire are the perfect combination to warm up any chilly day. And while your chimney does the heavy work of keeping the smoke out, it needs some TLC to ensure it always does its thing.

To begin with, you can count on a household name like Chimcare to get the job done – if you’re in the market for chimney cleaning services in Portland, OR. With over 30 years in the trade, the firm has built a reputation for delivering top-tier services.

So, what would happen if you neglected your chimney? Why is a chimney sweep critical? Here’s what you may expect if your chimney doesn’t get the care it needs.

Smoke Damage

Your chimney serves as a conduit for smoke, and if it isn’t regularly cleaned, the smoke won’t flow freely. This occurs as soot builds up around the flue, basically choking the passage. The smoke then ends up in your living space, leaving you with a smoky smell and a sooty mess. Consequently, your ceilings, walls, furniture, and carpets may need good scrubbing.

Fire Hazards 

Sometimes, soot can catch fire and cause a house fire. I know what you’re thinking, “How does this happen?” As wood burns, it leaves behind a creosote residue – a tar-like coating that accumulates inside your chimney.

The coating is highly combustible, implying a hidden fire could be smoldering within your chimney and can easily lead to disaster if left unchecked. Similarly, creosote can block the passage, preventing the free flow of smoke – as we’ve pointed out above.

Plus, the buildup can cause permanent staining around the chimney. As you can see, skimping on chimney care can have costly effects. It’s akin to playing with fire, quite literally.

Imagine the damage a fire could do to your investment (home). What are the odds of your insurer paying your claim if you didn’t inform them about your chimney’s maintenance status? You guessed it, slim to none. As such, it’s evident why regular sweeps are so critical.

Health Issues

If you fail to clean your chimney, your family’s health could be on the line. What happens when smoke is trapped inside the chimney and makes its way into your home? It can spread toxins and poisonous gases – mainly carbon monoxide.

In fact, carbon monoxide poisoning causes over 400 deaths in the US annually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a further 50,000 people end up in the ER due to smoke inhalation. The symptoms of such poisoning include dizziness, nausea, fainting, and more.

Therefore, you need proper chimney care to keep your family safe from noxious gases. Get in touch with a reputable chimney sweep and keep your home clean and healthy. It’s also a good idea to invest in a carbon monoxide detector.

Structural Issues

A neglected chimney can cause structural damage. As residue builds up, it can cause the brickwork to weaken, crack, or even crumble. Similarly, water may seep into the chimney, mix with the soot, and cause rusting of metallic flues. What’s more, the ensuing acidic buildup can weaken the masonry, posing a danger to your home.

Watch out for a stained ceiling and walls around your fireplace so you can nip the problem in the bud – as it could indicate a problem. And contact a professional if you spot any of these signs because the longer you wait, the more extensive and expensive repairs will be.

Liner Damage

Your chimney’s liner is responsible for keeping the smoke and heats away from combustible materials. If it’s clogged with creosote, it becomes ineffective. And while it’s easy to get rid of residue on the liner, letting it linger can have dire consequences.

Over time, the acidic residue may corrode and erode the liner, rendering it useless. If that happens, you’ll need to replace it – a dreary prospect. What’s more, the tar-like creosote may seep through the cracks in the liner and eventually end up in your home.

And let’s face it, removing the hardened deposits from the chimney, even for an experienced crew, is no mean feat. Schedule regular inspections with your go-to professional to ensure such an eventuality doesn’t occur and keep your chimney working as it should.

Regular chimney inspections and cleaning are necessary to keep your family safe and healthy and avoid costly repairs. Not to mention, it also ensures your fuel burns efficiently. Don’t let the winter get you down – be proactive by having a pro clean your chimney so you can stay toasty when the cold season sets in.

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