Some things are easy to detect. If your car is knocking or jerking, those are signs that you need to find a mechanic. When your clothes aren’t drying, there’s a problem with your dryer. If the food in your freezer isn’t frozen, it needs to be fixed ASAP. But how about if your chimney needs a good cleaning? There are ways to tell if your chimney needs a cleaning if you’re aware of what to look for.
Have you noticed that your home doesn’t smell as fresh and clean as you think it should, even after you’ve cleaned? It could be that your chimney is the problem area. Creosote is a natural by-product of burning a fire in your fireplace, one that you can’t stop from happening. Even cured wood has moisture that lingers, and as the wood burns, that moisture is released, along with many chemicals that are in the wood. This mixture rises up your chimney in the form of smoke, and when it hits the cooler interior surface of the chimney, it condenses and forms a layer of creosote. This is a highly flammable material, and it is also very smelly. If you smell something rank, it probably means that your chimney needs a good cleaning.
Bird or Animal Entry
Another reason that you may be smelling something in your chimney is that a bird or animal may have gotten in. If your chimney cap is in a state of disrepair, or if you don’t have a chimney cap, it’s easy for critters to get in but not always so easy for them to get back out. Your chimney is a perfect spot for animals and birds to raise a family, warm, dark, and free from the elements and predators. This means there will be droppings, feathers, or, unfortunately, sometimes even a dead animal inside your chimney. These are bound to smell, and need to be removed from your chimney as soon as possible.
Another sign that you need a chimney cleaning is the look of the chimney and fireplace. Have you noticed black material in the firebox or on the hearth? This could be soot, which is a precursor to creosote. Generally soot is easier to clean out, but it does still need to be cleared out before a more serious creosote layer is formed.
A more serious sign that your chimney needs to be cleaned is an excess of smoke when you burn a fire. This probably means that there is a blockage somewhere, or that the chimney opening is being clogged by an excess of soot, grime, and creosote. If this is happening, your chimney isn’t as efficient or effective as it should be, and your family’s health and safety is in danger.
Give Chimney Doctors of Colorado A Call
If you are noticing signs that your chimney or fireplace need a good cleaning, it’s time to give Chimney Doctors of Colorado a call. We’ll have all your chimney needs taken care of before the snow falls!