Any chimney, when used regularly, accumulates an amount of creosote residue in the lining. Creosote, if allowed to accumulate for a long time, can result in a house fire. So as much as one must make efforts to reduce creosote buildup, they must clean the chimney regularly, too. One way of reducing the creosote residue is to season the wood to reduce the water content that will in turn reduce the residue content. However, this is only a small measure. A professional level of cleanup is regularly required. There are various reasons why the chimney should be kept clean. Let us take a look at a few:
- If dirt and smoke residue collects in the chimney, it will hinder the airflow up the chimney causing the fire to use up more fuel than required. Also there will be black smoke inside the house, and that can lead to a hazardous situation.
- Due to creosote and soot accumulation in the chimney, there might be back suction of the air and cause a chimney fire. This is extremely dangerous and will put lives at risk.
- If the chimney is not cleaned, the chimney lining will corrode. This might raise a situation where either the chimney lining needs to be replaced with a new one or a new chimney will need to be built. Since the second option is expensive and extremely laborious, the first option is better. However, even this is laborious and needs a certain amount of expertise, though it can be called a doable job.
- Another reason why chimneys should be swept, is to take care of the chimney bricks. At times the mortar within the bricks becomes loose or wears away. This results in the bricks falling loose. The mortar needs to be replenished regularly to keep the chimney infrastructure intact. Healthy bricks means a strong chimney.
- Soot becomes messy and can cause health hazards if not removed at the proper time. Chimneys should be cleaned so that it does not make the home dirty, cause lung infections and breathing problems, and reduces the work efficiency of the chimney.
These are the basic reasons why the chimney should be cleaned. The investment in chimney maintenance, though a little troublesome, is worthwhile and is sure to yield the best results.