Winter sometimes seems to drag on far longer than you want. The past few years have been unusually harsh with late cold-snaps coming on the heels of record heat. Your fireplace has been getting a workout for the last few months, and you’re starting to wonder if it’s time to get it checked. Is there any way you can tell when and if your chimney needs a good cleaning?
The Fire Starts or Burns Slowly
Lighting a fire is like second nature, and you’ve been doing it for years. Lately, however, you’ve noticed it is taking longer for the wood to catch and start to burn. The slow lighting or burning may be a sign that something is blocking the chimney keeping the air from being able to rise sufficiently.
Smoke Comes Out of the Fireplace
When your home starts to get filled with black smoke from the fireplace, chances are, you have a severe creosote build up somewhere along the way. If you can take a look up the flue, you may notice a tar-like coating. This is a dangerous phenomenon, and you may want to look into chimney cleaning in MD for some help with rectifying it. If it isn’t a buildup, part of your liner may be on fire further up the chimney. Extinguish the fire in your fireplace immediately and do not start another until it gets fixed.
Your House Smells Like Burning Wood When There Is No Fire Lit
If your home smells like you just burned a fresh log when there hasn’t been one in days, the creosote buildup may be just starting phase one or even phase two. Creosote is chemical left behind after a fire burns, and the deposits can cause the chimney to catch on fire. You will need to get a good sweep in there to get rid of the tar-like substance.
Protecting your home and family is a priority, and maintaining your chimney in working order is one way to ensure they are safe. Pay attention to some of the signs that your chimney needs cleaning and get it done.