Are you excited about the upcoming arrival of fall? Have you been looking forward to cozy evenings next to a fire while you sip on your favorite hot beverage? Fireplaces are an iconic fixture in many homes. For some, the holidays wouldn't be complete without being gathered next to a crackling fire. But there is a downside to having a fireplace. They do need to be cleaned out annually by a professional in order for you to keep using them. The longer it's been since you had your fireplace cleaned, the more urgent it becomes to have it done. Some of the best reasons for this include:
Prevent chimney fires: As you burn things in your fireplace, tiny particles of unburned material go up the chimney as smoke. Most of this leaves your chimney harmlessly, but some of the heavier particles can start to collect on the sides of the chimney. As these particles start to build up, it becomes more and more likely that the heat from any fires below will set this coating on fire. When this happens, the result can be a potentially deadly chimney fire. But with an annual chimney cleaning by a professional, the chances of this happening are reduced significantly.
Repair damage: Nearly all materials expand slightly when they are heated and contract when they are cooled; the bricks and mortar of chimneys are no exception. Unfortunately, bricks and mortar aren't that flexible. The end result is that, over time, cracks start to form in the mortar and bits of mortar can crumble away. An annual professional chimney cleaning can identify this damage so that you can have it repaired before it becomes too serious. If you let it go too long, your only option may be to completely tear out your fireplace and have a brand new one installed.
Resolve other issues: Another issue that can befall a modern chimney is for the protective cap that keeps out rain and small animals to become dislodged by the wind or by birds landing on it. From the ground, everything might seem okay. But the reality could be that the first fire of the year could send smoke pouring into your home as a result of a blockage. A professional chimney cleaning company (such as Mercer County Chimney Services) will come and set the cap straight and ensure that there are no blockages in the chimney. They will also let you know if there are any other potential issues that you should be aware of and that should be remedied before you use your fireplace again.