To prevent corrosion of the chimney and avoid chimney fire, it’s essential to regularly clean your chimney. There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding chimney cleaning that can put homeowners at risk if they start following everything they hear about chimney cleaning. Therefore, we are busting common misconceptions that may be a good clue for you to get help from chimney sweep services for a chimney cleanup.
Myth #1: Metal chimneys don’t require annual cleaning
You can find different types of chimney flue liners like stainless steel and cast-in-place liners. Chimneys without a liner are considered hazardous so a chimney liner is an important part of chimneys.
Stainless steel is the metal commonly used for flue liners and its many benefits like it’s non-corrosive and can withstand the high amount of corrosive smoke and chemicals passing through the chimney. However, similar to other types of chimney liners, stainless steel liners require cleaning as well.
Stainless steel won’t corrode, but creosote and soot buildup will occur on the liner. Creosote and soot are black materials that can catch fire if enough amount of them builds up. Therefore, you must clean your chimney at least annually to sweep away creosote and prevent a chimney fire and avoid damage to the house.
Myth #2: You can skip cleaning the chimney of an unused fireplace before beginning its usage
This can sound convincing that if you haven’t used the fireplace, you don’t need to clean the chimney before starting to use it.
When a fireplace isn’t used, it won’t produce smoke. As a result, you won’t find any soot or creosote buildup on the chimney. However, chimneys collect dust and debris over time even when they are not in use.
If you don’t have a chimney cap installed on the unused chimney, it will become an ideal nest for birds and rodents. They create their home in your chimney and as the chimney is not in use, you won’t notice it.
This will block your chimney and if you happen to use the fireplace, the room will become smoky because no or less smoke will make out of the chimney and most of the smoke will turn back and enter the room.
Even if an unused chimney has a chimney cap, dust and debris must be cleaned before using the fireplace. So, make sure you clean your unused fireplace and chimney before using them.
Myth #3: No need to clean a chimney before liner installation
If your chimney didn’t have a liner installed or your existing liner is damaged, you will consider relining your chimney. However, make sure to clean your chimney before the flue liner installation. Failing to do so will keep a layer of creosote between the chimney walls and the liner.
Myth #4 You can DIY chimney cleaning
Chimney cleaning requires expertise and special equipment. This makes sure that the whole chimney is properly cleaned without leaving any spot uncleaned. A DIY chimney cleaning can be improper, might leave a spot, or leave contaminants that might cause problems like smoky fireplaces and chimney fires.
You can DIY your chimney cleaning every month, but for a thorough cleaning, you must hire an expert.
Myth #5: Softwoods create more creosote
Another common myth about chimney cleaning is that softwoods create more creosote and they must be avoided. But the fact is that creosote buildup is affected by the moisture content in the wood. Wood with higher moisture levels will create more creosote in comparison to firewood that has lesser moisture levels.
Freshly cut and green wood has high moisture while seasoned wood has lower moisture. Therefore, use seasoned wood for a lower rate of creosote buildup in your chimney.
Myth #6: Burning orange peels in the fireplace can clean the chimney
Orange oil has properties that can remove grease and is used in many cleaners. However, burning orange peels in your fireplace won’t clean the chimney. Your room will smell like oranges, but that’s it. The best method of chimney cleaning is by getting an expert to sweep it properly.
Your chimney will require cleaning annually if you regularly use it. Moreover, an unused fireplace and chimney should be swept by a chimney cleaning service Ellicott City before starting its usage to prevent a chimney fire.