If you are the proud owner of a home with a wood burning fireplace, you may be curious about maintenance. The following can help answer some of your questions. 

1. Does An Unused Chimney Require Cleaning?

For those that rarely use their fireplace, it may seem as though chimney cleaning is something to ignore. This isn't the case. Over time, issues can still develop in the chimney. Moisture can become trapped, which can lead to mold. Small damages and cracks can result in water leaks, or pests like birds may take up residence in the chimney. Annual cleaning removes mold and catches small damages early when they are still easily repairable. 

2. Are Creosote Logs a Replacement for Chimney Cleaning?

Creosote logs are specially designed fireplace logs that are supposed to remove creosote buildup from the chimney walls as they burn. Unfortunately, they do not work well enough to completely clean a chimney, particularly if there is heavy buildup. Instead, depend on a professional annual cleaning before fireplace season to ensure a fully cleaned chimney. Then, use the creosote busting logs monthly to maintain the cleaning until the next annual visit. 

3. Do Metal Liners Require Regular Cleaning?

It's a common myth that a metal liner doesn't require a regular chimney sweeping. Metal liners are one of the most durable options, which means they rarely require replacement. Longevity doesn't free them from creosote buildup, though, and you still need to clean the chimney on a regular schedule. For more family homes, this means an annual professional chimney cleaning. 

4. Will A Chimney Cleaner Perform an Inspection?

The parameters of service are dependent upon whom you hire and what type of cleaning package you sign up for. The most basic packages, which mainly include the cleaning, will typically include a light inspection. This means checking that the flue is functioning and that the chimney cap is in place, and making note of any obvious damages like visible cracks in the liner. A more in-depth inspection is often an additional service that you can schedule at the same time as the cleaning. 

5. Can One Clean Their Own Chimney?

Chimney cleaning is not usually considered a DIY job. It requires special tools as well as training and knowledge on how to use them. There are also safety issues when it comes to working inside the chimney and being exposed to fire residues, which can be carcinogenic. It's a much better idea to hire a professional. 

Contact a residential chimney cleaning service to learn more.