Knowing when to clean your fireplace and chimney is sometimes tricky to figure out if you do not know how to tell if it’s dirty or just a little worn in. Thankfully, we can show you what to look for to help decide when your chimney and fireplace needs cleaning.
Step One: Check for Creosote Build Up
If your fireplace and chimney has any kind of creosote build up, it is time to clean these areas out. If you do not, a possible chimney fire could occur. You can tell if creosote has built up within the chimney if you try to start a fire and all that occurs is smokiness, or by scraping the side of chute with a metal scraper gently to see if a paper thick layer of creosote falls off the sides. If it does, then it is time to book a professional technician for a home visit. A pro knows the nooks and crannies where the most creosote builds up and how to thoroughly clean it so you’re getting the best airflow and the safest fire.
Step Two: Check for Ash and Coal Build Up
If there is an overwhelming amount of ash and coal build up in the fireplace, you can clean that out regularly yourself. You will know when it is time because trying to start a fire using starter logs, kindling sticks and newspapers will be difficult. Ash and coal build up will not allow air to flow below the fire as it burns, and one of the most important ingredients for a good fire is plenty of oxygen flow.
Step Three: Check for Air Flow
To check for proper airflow make sure there is not a downdraft coming from your chimney into your fireplace. It there is, open up a door or window in the area the fireplace is located and see if you can get the draft to go upward instead. If the airflow seems obstructed, time for a chimney clean! Too much creosote is likely built up within your chimney and smoke (and heat) has no where to escape if a fire were to be lit within the fireplace.
Step Four: Check for Smoke
If smoke begins to fill the room, either in thick plumes or slowly, after you’ve lit your fire, there’s a possibility the chimney is blocked by creosote build up. It is best to snuff the fire out completely by closing the airflow using the flue and call Stamford Fireplaces to come clean out the fireplace and chimney properly.
Step Five: Check for a Shiny Coating of Creosote
One of the worst kinds of creosote can be identified by a slick, shiny coating. If you notice any kind of hard to move black shiny material on the chimney wall do NOT light another fire. Call Stamford Fireplaces to give your fireplace a thorough cleaning..
Keep It Clean
If you are unsure if your fireplace needs cleaning, call for a professional assessment. For more information on fireplace cleaning, contact us at Stamford Fireplaces. Our expert team is ready to help with all your fireplace needs.