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Why You Should Hire A Chimney Sweep
It is important to keep a chimney clean regardless of the type of fuel burned. This can prevent fires as well as prevent noxious gasses from entering the home. The chimney carries away toxic gasses emitted from the fire in the fireplace and it is an important safety measure to ensure it is clean and free from blockage. A chimney sweep will perform routine maintenance and inspection to ensure proper safety standards are met.
It is advised that maintenance on the chimney be performed once per year. In other countries this is a standard accepted practice. However, this idea is still quite new in the United States. It is growing in popularity, though, because of the increase in deaths and injuries related to fireplaces. Over 5,500 fires and 10,000 gas poisonings occur each year due to improper fireplace maintenance. These figures can be greatly reduced with proper care.
Chimney sweeps are available in all areas and can be easily found in the phone book or via an Internet search. Choose services that are experienced and affordable. It is also recommended to obtain a service that is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a non profit organization that educates tests and certifies chimney sweep services.
The chimney sweep will first inspect the chimney for any damage and determine the extent of cleaning necessary. It is advisable to hire a chimney sweep that only does inspections and cleaning, and does not actually do the repairs. This forces them to be objective about repair needs and can minimize unnecessary expenditures. After the inspection, the cleaning will begin. The room surrounding the chimney will be protected from falling dirt and particles so no damage is incurred. Once the chimney is thoroughly brushed and clean, the technician will vacuum the particles and do a final cleaning of the surrounding area.
Some people may be tempted to do the work themselves. However, there is an aspect of danger to the job and it can be very time consuming and tiring. It is necessary to utilize the proper equipment and have access to the roof and interior of the chimney. This can sometimes prove dangerous with the use of tall ladders. Professional chimney sweep services are licensed and bonded which will protect your investment. The cost of the service is affordable, generally fewer than two hundred dollars, and depending on the chimney the cleaning will only take approximately one hour. Therefore, using professionals is recommended.