Winter is over, and summer weather is here after another long, cold season in Minnesota. But just because you’ve put away your sweaters and coats doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about your fireplace.

Summertime is the perfect time to make sure your chimney and fireplace are winter-ready ahead of the fall weather that’s right around the corner. In this post from The Construction Group, our chimney repair pros are breaking down everything you need to know about chimney cleaning.

Why is Chimney Cleaning Important?

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is to fire up their hearth without having their chimney cleaned from one year to the next. According to air quality experts, chimney fires are responsible for about $125 million in annual property damage with around 25,000 fires per year starting in chimneys. Most of those fires are caused by a buildup of creosote, which, combined with structural problems in the chimney masonry, can lead to a house fire.

Creosote is a natural byproduct created through the process of burning wood that builds up on the insides of a chimney. When the smoke from a wood burning fire passes through your chimney, creosote condenses along the inner surface. This sticky, highly flammable chemical has a tar-like appearance. As little as ⅛” of soot as well as any amount of visible creosote are indicators that your chimney is due for a cleaning.

Chimney Cleaning Services

To prevent a chimney fire caused by creosote, the National Fire Protection Association recommends having your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once per year. While cleaning your chimney, inspectors will also examine your chimney for problems with the masonry and make recommendations for chimney repair.

Call a chimney inspector if you experience any of the following:

●        A strong fireplace odor

●        Flames anywhere suspicious

●        Smoke inside your home

Once your chimney is ready to go, be careful to use the correct fuel to prevent future buildup and minimize your risk of a chimney fire. Only use well-seasoned wood that has been covered and stored off of the ground. Additionally, avoid the temptation to burn newspapers, garbage, or treated wood of any kind.

What to Do About a Chimney Fire

If you hear crackling or popping sounds in your chimney or can identify flames coming out of the top, close the flue immediately and exit the premises before calling 911. Once everyone is safely outside, grab a garden hose and wet down your roof while you wait for firefighters to arrive on the scene.

To schedule chimney repair services for your Minnesota home, be sure to call The Construction Group in Woodbury today at 651-731-5857. Or you can contact us online to find out more about our masonry services.