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How a Chimney Can Become a Fire Hazard & How a Chimney Sweep Can Help

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Do you have a fireplace with a chimney that has never been cleaned? If you don't invest in a chimney sweep, your home can end up burning down as a result of the gunk left in your chimney. In this article, learn about the fire hazards of a dirty chimney and how much getting a chimney sweep will cost.

How Can a Chimney Become a Fire Hazard?

When you have a wood burning fireplace, the burnt wood produces hydrocarbon gases each time the fireplace is used. The hydrocarbons are dangerous because they can mix with air inside of the chimney flue and start a fire.

Creosote forms when the smoke, gases and wood particles travel up the chimney to get released out of your home. What happens is the substances get to the top and cool down before exiting the chimney. Once the substances cool down, they are able to stay in the chimney and accumulate. The creosote created can appear sooty (like powder), hard or even gummy. If you don't invest in a chimney sweep the creosote can result in a chimney fire.

You don't want a chimney fire because it can be loud and fast. The fire can come out of the chimney and travel through your home in a speed that gives you little to no time to safely get out, especially after a large amount of creosote has accumulated in the flue.

Some homeowners have mild chimney fires without ever being aware that they have occurred. Some of the signs that a fire has occurred include:

  • Cracks in the chimney flue
  • Discoloration on the chimney rain cap
  • Damaged roofing from the presence of creosote

How Much Does a Chimney Sweep Cost?

Chimney sweepers will usually charge you based on the extent of creosote that has accumulated. If you have never cleaned the chimney flue before, you will likely have to spend more money because it can take longer to clean due to the hardened creosote. The average price of a chimney sweep is a minimum of $79. Getting a chimney sweep done is affordable and should be done no matter how much money you have to spend, as it is vital for keeping your home safe when using the fireplace.

It is nice to have a fireplace to enjoy because it is pleasant to look at and can heat your home without running up energy costs. Just make sure a professional chimney sweep such as Village Fireplace is able to come and keep you and your loved once safe from a fire.