When you regularly enjoy the warmth and glow of your home's fireplace during the cooler parts of the year, you may take for granted the important function of the chimney to keep the smoke and residue out of your house. As part of the fire's byproducts, soot and creosote will build up and can start to block off the flow of air and smoke through the chimney.
Because of this, the chimney needs to be cleaned out. If it has been a while since you have scheduled a professional cleaning, look for the following signs that it is time to do so.
1. Bricks in the Back of the Hearth Start Turning Black
When you burn wood in the fireplace, it is normal for a certain amount of soot to coat the interior of the chimney as the smoke rises through the column. However, as the soot starts to build up and it blocks part of the smoke's passageway, the smoke will be in contact for longer with the bricks of the hearth where the firewood sits.
Because of this prolonged exposure, the soot from the lingering smoke will start to burn the hearth's bricks black. When you start seeing the blackening of these bricks, you should call to have the chimney cleaned out.
2. Smoke Billows into the Room after a Fire Burns for More Than a Few Minutes
Another sign that your chimney needs to be cleaned out is also one that you should not ignore. After you burn a fire in the fireplace for more than a few minutes, you may start to see smoke billowing into and filling up the room and even throughout your house.
If your chimney is allowing smoke to flow out into your house, this means that not only is soot blocking the passageway, but creosote has also formed and is coating the flue. Not only will this adversely affect your home's air quality, but it will also create a serious fire hazard since creosote is flammable.
If your chimney is showing the signs discussed above, the soot and creosote buildup can affect your home's air quality, as well as posing an increased risk of starting a fire in your house. As soon as you discover these issues, contact a residential chimney cleaning service to schedule an appointment for them to send someone out to remove the buildup as well as to discuss the frequency at which repeat cleanings should be done in the future.
To learn more, contact a residential chimney cleaning company.