Do I Really Need To Have My Chimney Cleaned After A Mild Winter?


So, you’ve just experienced a very mild winter; your fireplace was hardly used at all, and you may find yourself thinking that maybe it would be okay to skip your yearly chimney inspection and cleaning. After all, if you didn’t use it much, there’s no real reason to clean it, right? Wrong! Here are a couple of reasons why.

National Fire Protection Agency Says So

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), National Fire Protection Agency Standard 211 states that “(C)himneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” Although it may seem that there would be less reason for a cleaning because you’ve used your fireplace so seldom, it isn’t necessarily the quantity of time that you’ve used your fireplace, it’s the type of the fire that you get in a mild winter that is the real culprit.

Creosote Build Up

When you burn a fire during a mild winter, you may just be concerned about getting the chill out of the air, and not be too concerned about building up a hot fire. These smaller fires tend to smolder more rather than burn hot and steady. When you have a smoldering fire burning in your fireplace, creosote will build up more quickly.

So, what is creosote? When using your masonry fireplace by-products such as smoke, unburned wood particles, hydrocarbons, and more are released. The purpose of your chimney is to provide a passage to release these by-products into the air rather than into your home. As they move up your chimney, they cool and leave a residue behind which coats the inside of your chimney. This residue is known as creosote. Creosote that builds up in your chimney is a fire hazard and must be removed.

Small AnimalsAnimals In Chimney - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney Sweep

Another reason that it is important to clean and inspect your chimney after a mild winter is because you are more likely to have animals build nests in your chimney when you aren’t using it as often. These nests can cause a blockage in your chimney. One major consequence of this could be a chimney fire; another may be that the dangerous gases that should be released into the air through your chimney may actually be pushed back into your home.

Who Should I Call For My Yearly Cleanings/Inspections

When looking to hire someone to do your yearly fireplace inspection and cleaning, it is recommended that you hire someone who has been certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America. The professionals at Pozzi Chimney Sweep have been CSIA certified and National Chimney Sweep Guild certified. Pozzi Chimney Sweep has also received the Angie’s List Super Service Award for three years.

Make sure that you don’t neglect having your chimney inspected and cleaned every year, regardless if the winter is cold and snowy or warm and mild. And to make sure that the job is done correctly, call the professionals at Pozzi Chimney Sweep. You can rest easy knowing that your chimney will be clean and clear of debris, ready for next winter – which might not be so mild!