Particles in the smoke - called soot or creosote - are deposited on the inside of the chimney and fireplace. Creosote is flammable. When a sufficient amount builds up in a chimney, a fire hazard exists and the chimney needs to be cleaned.Preventative maintenance is the key to eliminate the threat of a chimney fire! We are told - from clients who did NOT clean their chimneys in time - that a chimney fire sounds much like a jet landing on the roof. Part of this "roar" is from the rush of air up the chimney created by the fire's demand for oxygen. A dirty chimney may also not draw well. This causes smoke to drift or billow into the room when a fire is lit. Soot build-up, particularly right above the fireplace in an area called the "smoke shelf," is the most common cause of a chimney not drawing properly. Another cause is improper construction. But if the fireplace worked well at one time but is now drawing poorly, you can assume a good cleaning will restore it to working order again.
How often should a chimney be cleaned?
"Have your chimney professionally checked once a year and cleaned when necessary " - Saanich Fire DepartmentWe recommend any wood burning flue that is in use to be cleaned every year. Fire departments strongly recommend annual inspection and cleaning. For oil chimneys, furnace or boiler, we recommend every year or two.