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Signs You Need a Chimney Sweep

The mention of a chimney sweep probably brings to mind one very specific image for most people familiar with pop culture. We’d venture a guess that you’re likely picturing Dick Van Dyke in his role as Bert in Mary Poppins. Fun imagery aside, a chimney cleaning by a professional technician from Northeastern Chimney is imperative to its proper care and operation. The four signs you need a chimney sweep are odors, changing seasons, the quality of your fire, and visual clues.

chimney debris obstruction, bristol ctFirst, let’s talk about odors

If you notice a smell coming from your chimney, it’s a sure sign that it’s time to schedule a chimney sweep. Odor can be caused by creosote, a sticky tar-like substance that can be extremely dangerous when allowed to build up. If the smell is acidic or bitter, a layer of creosote buildup may be to blame.

Another cause of odor is trapped debris or the presence of animals or insects. When you don’t have a chimney cap installed (or it is damaged), things can find their way into your chimney. They then decompose, make their nest, or block the exit of smoke and gases. These can all lead to pungent odors as well. A chimney sweep is the best way to remove the source of the odor.

The four seasons

If everything seems fine from the outside and it hasn’t been used for a while, then you can probably skip your chimney cleaning, right? Wrong! Ideally, you should schedule a chimney sweep once or twice a year, depending on how frequently you’ve used it.

When your chimney goes unused for a season or two, animals can take up residence inside (as we mentioned in the previous section). Other things, like leaves and debris, can be blown in and get stuck, forming a block that you wouldn’t discover until your next fire.

Additionally, if you’ve recently bought your home and don’t know when it was last swept, schedule an appointment for cleaning. Proactive maintenance is a necessary step and scheduling a regular chimney sweep will help ensure you catch potential problems early.

Changes in fire quality

Occasionally, you might notice a change in the quality of your burn. Your fires may burn less efficiently, or you may notice a larger amount of smoke. This can be due to a problem with your damper (the piece of your chimney that regulates airflow). Dampers should be open when you’re using your fireplace and closed otherwise. If your damper won’t fully open or fully close, it can lead to a significant decrease in fire quality.

A chimney sweep will be able to identify the source of this problem.

chimney creosote removal, south windsor ctVisual clues

Changes in fire quality can also be caused by too much creosote buildup inside the flue. Creosote is dangerous, both leading to blockages and potential fires. If you’re able to visually see creosote buildup forming, it needs to be removed before continued use of your fireplace.

Schedule a sweep as soon as possible!

Call the professionals

If it’s time for your yearly chimney inspection or you have a concern about your chimney and want us to take a look, give the team at Northeastern Chimney, LLC a call. They are trained to efficiently clean your chimney and get it ready for the winter while also spotting any potential issues before they have a chance to put your home and family in danger.

It’s easy to get in touch: give us a call at 860-233-5770 or fill out our contact form online.

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