If you use your fireplace or a wood burning stove during the winter months, the National Fire
Protection Agency recommends annual chimney
Soft woods such as pine, cardboard, paper
and paper logs burned in a fireplace or stove
release a residue that rises with the heat.
This residue, called creosote, condenses
and collects on the chimney walls. This residue
can come in many different forms: powdery,
sticky, thick, and chunky. Some of these
residues are easier to clean than others.
If your chimney does not have a cap, this
problem can be compounded by animal nests,
leaves, and other debris. If untended, these
can ignite and lead to your house catching
Here are a few tips to help avoid
- Make sure you have a chimney cap to keep animals and debris out of your chimney
- Have your chimney inspected for cracks
- Only burn hard woods and avoid burning cardboard,
paper, or Christmas trees, which can spark
There are chimney cleaning products on the
market that claim to eliminate the creosote
from your chimney without having to hire
a professional. However, depending on the
type and amount of build up, there is nothing
as good as having a professional certified
chimney sweep do the job.
Spring is a good time to arrange
this work done, as the service
not as busy (most people put
the work off
until the cold weather returns).
inspection usually costs $30-$50.
sweep will run between $60 and
$130 --- depending
on the amount of work that needs
to be done.
To find a certified, reputable
ask friends for recommendations
with your local Better Business