During the cold season, a lot of people would appreciate having a hot cup of chocolate beside the fireplace; however, if you use your chimney only a few times in a year, chances are, you might need to conduct a chimney inspection soon. Inspecting the chimney can be done personally by the owner or by hiring a professional cleaner to make sure that it is rightfully done.
How to Inspect Chimneys
- Wear protective suit, dust mask and goggles.
- By using some brooms and vacuum, remove the ashes and dirt on the box.
- Find a cloth or board that you can use to lay on to have a better view of the chimney while looking for some holes or cracks.
- Find another piece of board that you can use that would serve as a cover in the fire box to make sure nothing gets out of it while you are cleaning from the top.
- Using a ladder, climb to your roof and use your flashlight to check on any creosotes forming or even some animals that might have build their nests inside the flue.
- Using your brush, try to reach all the areas of the chimney, use longer handles to reach the bottom if needed.
- Go back to the fire box and remove all debris that fell down from cleaning.
Levels of Chimney Inspections
Level 1 – if you often use your chimney and did not have any bad experience at all, this first level of inspection is just right, just checking the structure of the chimney with no signs of any trouble.
Level 2 – this level of chimney inspection is recommended if you are making any changes on how you use your chimney as well as if you have had any accidents before that may have cause interior or exterior damage.
Level 3 – this is a thorough inspection that combines both levels 1 and 2 plus possible removal of the parts to check what’s inside.
Chimney cleaning is usually done by professionals since they are the ones who understand the signs that they have to look for to ensure safety to the homeowners. They look for holes, thick creosotes that may eventually case chimney fire if not acted on as soon as possible.
Other than the usual forming of creosotes and soot all over the chimney flue, cracks are another thing to be aware of, most of the time, due to the changing weather, earthquakes and living in a very old house, these can all contribute on making cracks even worse. Checking on the roof where it meets the chimney is also important, making sure that the seal is still intact lessens the possibility of getting leaks.
Because of this, chimney cleaners have also added services where in they can also conduct chimney repairs. When you call the chimney sweeper company, you will be given an appointment date and time to when their service man can visit and have a check on your chimney flue. As they check the status, its either they will recommend cleaning or if they found some cracks or leaks, they might suggest repairs as well.