Scheduling Fireplace Maintenance and a Chimney Sweep
It is best to schedule fireplace maintenance and a chimney sweep before the cold of winter arrives. The cost of a service professional will be cheaper during the summer. If you wait until late fall or early winter, it will be tougher to schedule a service call and might cost more. Worse yet, delaying a good cleaning could result in a chimney fire and damage the integrity of the liner and brick. This is one maintenance task you do not want to pass by. It is very possible for chimney fire to take place without you even knowing it occurred. If the inspector does find structural problems, you could be staring down a several thousand dollar bill. But, I’d recommend getting a second opinion in the event heavy repairs are needed.
Creosote is the key ingredient that determines the likelihood of a chimney fire. This byproduct of fire is built up on the sides of the flue by smoke. The problem is creosote is flammable. Once enough of it is built up and the right spark comes along, a chimney fire occurs. Sometimes the fire turns into a full blown disaster. Other times it stays contained within the flue, but causes cracks in the tile liners in the flue.
If left unchecked, a couple smaller chimney fires can cause serious structural issues with the chimney. Don’t assume there isn’t a problem just because you haven’t seen it. Schedule a sweep and inspection on your home maintenance checklist every year.