Reasons Why Cleaning and Inspecting Your Chimney is Not A DIY Job

chimney-inspectionTackling a DIY home project can give you a great sense of accomplishment. Cleaning your chimney might seem like a perfect job to tackle yourself. Removing soot can’t be that hard, right? There is a lot more to an annual chimney cleaning and inspection than removing soot. Tackling it yourself can be dangerous and could leave your home vulnerable to a fire or carbon monoxide exposure.

In 2016, Angie’s List removed an article titled “How to Clean Your Chimney” because they realized promoting DIY chimney cleanings contradicts the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s safety recommendations. Both the NFPA and Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommend an annual chimney cleaning and inspection by a qualified professional to prevent house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. There are three reasons why only trained, chimney technicians are qualified to safely perform an annual fireplace cleaning.

Chimney Pros Have the Right Tools for the Job

Creosote is a highly flammable compound that builds up in chimneys. It is the leading cause of chimney fires. It is extremely difficult to remove properly, without damaging your chimney, if you do not have the right training and equipment. How it should be removed, depends on what stage of creosote accumulation is in your chimney. Level three creosote can only be safely removed with professional-grade chemicals that aren’t available to the public.

chimney-inspectionProfessional chimney sweeps also have the high-rise equipment that’s needed to safely work on your roof and access the chimney. Falling off your roof while trying to clean your chimney can result in serious injury.  It’s smart to leave this job to professionals with the training and equipment to do it safely.

Chimney Pros Know What to Look For

Professional chimney cleanings include an inspection of the chimney and fireplace. This annual inspection is important to help prevent a house fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Without a trained eye, it’s difficult to catch chimney problems like a failing flue liner that could leave your home at risk. A certified chimney technician may also discover structural problems that need to be addressed like water damaged masonry. Identifying and resolving a chimney problem early can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars in repair costs.

Chimney Pros Are Prepared for Pest Problems

Critters love to make their homes in chimneys. Birds, raccoons, squirrels, and bats are all known to get into chimneys. These critters can damage your chimney and create a fire hazard. Safely removing a live animal or its nest without injuring yourself, damaging your chimney or hurting the animal is challenging. Chimney experts have the training to tackle these types of pest problems for you.

Inspecting and cleaning a chimney is more complicated than it seems. The best way to prevent your residence from being one of the 21,000 homes that catch fire every year is by hiring a trained and CSIA-certified chimney sweep to do the job. This is one home project that isn’t smart to DIY. If you haven’t scheduled a cleaning and inspection yet this year, give Fluesbrothers Chimney Service a call! We serve the Kansas City metro area.