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3 Reasons to Invest in Regular Chimney Sweeping

Chimney sweep wearing a mask for protection whilst cleaning chimney
Fireplaces have served as the heart of the home for many years. In the past, families relied on the fires housed within fireplaces for warmth, security, and protection. Although modern families might not rely on a fireplace to cook meals or ward off danger, a crackling fire can still serve as a gathering place where memories are made.

Masonry fireplaces can also add significant value to your home, but they can become a serious safety hazard if not properly maintained. You need to have your chimney swept by a professional on a regular basis to more than just keep the interior surfaces clean. Regular chimney sweeping is a valuable tool when it comes to identifying and addressing serious safety concerns that might affect the performance of your fireplace over time.

1. Settling

One of the most significant problems that a masonry chimney can face is settling. Water can potentially erode the ground near the base of your chimney, causing the bricks to shift and move. Erosion control is critical when it comes to preserving the structural integrity of your brick chimney, as settling could cause your chimney to topple over.

It can be challenging to spot the signs of settling, since cracks and other types of damage caused by settling tend to appear on the interior surfaces of your chimney first. The point where your firebox facing meets the firebrick inside your chimney is particularly vulnerable to damage caused by settling.

A professional chimney sweep will be able to spot cracks inside your chimney and recommend repairs or replacement that will help protect you against a falling chimney in the future.

2. Failing Joints

Each time you light a fire, your fireplace is subjected to extreme temperatures. The firebox and brick used to construct your chimney are capable of withstanding exposure to high temperatures, but the mortar used to create the joints between each brick can begin to deteriorate.

When your chimney's interior heats up and cools with use, the mortar expands and contracts. This expansion and contraction can cause the mortar to break down and deteriorate over time. Since failing joints are located on the inside of your chimney, it can be impossible for you to spot them on your own.

When you have your chimney professionally cleaned on a regular basis, an experienced chimney sweep can conduct a complete inspection of the quality of your chimney's mortar joints. Any damage your chimney sweep spots can be repaired immediately to prevent significant failures from occurring in the future.

3. Flue Damage

Your masonry chimney is probably lined with tiles that help to contain smoke and prevent dangerous gases from seeping out of your chimney and into your home. Creosote builds up on the surface of these tiles as you use your fireplace, and the creosote can spark a chimney fire that significantly increases the temperature within your chimney.

Most chimney fires go undetected, so you might not even realize that a chimney fire has damaged your tile lined flue. The extreme temperatures associated with chimney fires can cause the tiles lining your chimney to crack. These cracked tiles are no longer able to contain the smoke and flames traveling up your chimney, and the safety of your home is compromised.

Professional chimney cleaning can help you eliminate the creosote buildup that ignites chimney fires and identify cracked tiles that need to be replaced in order to maximize the safety of your chimney.

Regular chimney sweeping can keep your fireplace clean, but it can also help you preserve the safety and performance of your chimney over time. Contact Carolina Ductmasters to schedule a thorough cleaning for your chimney.