It can be tough to know when it’s time to clean your chimney. There isn’t a rule that says you need to clean it out after 50 uses or during a specific time of the year. It really comes down to observation and using your own best judgment to determine when you should contact one of the many companies offering chimney cleaning Washington DC has to offer. With that being said, there are still some things you can and should watch for that should tell you when to call a good chimney sweep.
Looking for Creosote
The best reason to clean your chimney is to remove creosote, a sticky black substance that builds up on the inside of a chimney that is produced by burning wood. Not only can creosote form an obstruction when it really builds up, but it can create a serious fire hazard if it isn’t cleared out.
You can check for creosote yourself by shining a light near the top of the firebox and in the smoke chamber. The creosote could appear as black feathery ash or a sticky, tarry substance. You can probably remove the feathery stuff by yourself, but it is far easier and safer to contact a chimney cleaning company to take care of the problem. They will have the equipment and the training to thoroughly clean out your chimney. In any case, if you see a lot of creosote at a quick glance, it’s time to have your chimney cleaned out.
You should also consider cleaning your chimney if you haven’t had it done recently. If you barely use your fireplace, you might not have had your chimney cleaned at all. If it’s been at least a few years, contact a chimney cleaning service near you. You may not technically need to clean out your chimney, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.