Simple and ordinary soot up your chimney is very easy to remove. It is O.K. for you to take care of your fireplace and keep it tidy. However, creosote buildup (or caked tar and soot) is very hard to remove. Only professional chimney cleaning experts are able to safely, and effectively, remove all that bothersome and dangerous build up from your chimney flue.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF CLEANING YOUR OWN CHIMNEY
As we said. There is nothing wrong with giving your chimney a little love. However, there are parts that are really hard to reach. The smoke shelf and the smoke chambers usually require special tools to get a thorough chimney sweep, and reaching the chimney crown might be a risky move without a safety harness.
The most destructive chimney fires often start when the highly flammable creosote ignites. It does not take much for it to go up in flames. In fact, it burns at the same temperature ordinary paper catches fire and, when it does, it expands really fast. Some describe it like watching foam sealant expand. This adds pressure and makes temperature soar to 2000 degrees, which is enough to start degrading your fireplace.
That´s why performing regular chimney cleanups is so important.
How can I tell if my chimney needs to be cleaned?
Here are seven tell-tale signs that indicate your chimney or fireplace needs cleaning:
What happens if you don't clean chimney?
When your chimney is not cleaned for a long time, a substance called creosote keeps building up in the flue during the use of the fireplace. This creosote is highly flammable and can lead to a dangerous chimney fire (an uncontrolled 2000 degree fire burning inside the chimney).
Can a dirty chimney cause a fire?
Most chimney fires are caused by a dirty chimney. We often get asked, 'What is the black stuff in my chimney? ' Well, anytime you burn wood, byproducts of combustion are formed, and those byproducts include creosote and soot. This is what you're seeing – and it's not good.