The new year is a time of new beginnings. People make resolutions to change their lives in a number of ways, spanning everything from eating healthier, spending more quality time with family, or taking the time to pamper themselves.

This year, in addition to your normal resolutions make it a priority to take better care of your chimney!

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Chimneys should be swept and inspected annually, and there is no better time to do get it done then at the start of the new year. Having your chimney swept now ensures that you and y our family have the peace of mind to enjoy using your fireplace all year long.

Why do chimneys need to be swept?

Some homeowners believe that by removing ash from and regularly cleaning their firebox that their entire chimney system is clean. However, this is not the case. While firebox care is an important part of fireplace system maintenance, having your chimney swept is equally important.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, all chimneys should be swept annually. One of the most important reasons to have your chimney swept is to remove creosote. Creosote is a thick, dark, smelly, and sticky natural byproduct of fuel burning fires that coats the inside of the flue. Because creosote is highly flammable, it can be easily ignited by stray sparks or embers. In fact, creosote is the number one leading cause of chimney fire.

In addition to removing creosote, certified chimney sweeps will also remove any soot, ash, or debris from inside the flue. Doing this reduces your risk of chimney fire and allows smoke and gas to freely move up the chimney and out of your home.

Do I have to have my chimney inspected?

Arguably more important than an annual chimney cleaning is the annual chimney inspection. According to the National Fire Protection Association, homeowners should have their chimneys inspected each year. In fact, an inspection may indicate that your chimney does not need to be swept that year.

Having an annual inspection alerts you to any changes in the condition of your chimney. This is especially important as it may help you uncover small problems – such as minor damage to the masonry – before they turn into larger issues needing costly, extensive repairs.

“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” said CSIA Director of Education Ashley Eldridge. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”

Chimney inspections are also conducted as a way to uncover the root cause of ongoing issues such as leaks, odors, or animal entry.

Who should I trust to clean and inspect my chimney?

You should only trust your chimney to a certified chimney sweep. Roofers, general contractors, and handymen simply do not have the necessary knowledge and expertise to correctly clean the chimney or identify emergent issues.

If you’re ready to start the new year with a clean chimney, contact Lord’s Chimney today. Our staff of highly trained technicians can help ensure that your chimney is in excellent condition and is safe to use for the rest of the year.