Chimneys and flues should be cleaned and/or inspected annually. Neglecting to do this could endanger everyone in the home. Birds or other animals can make nests or get stuck in chimneys and flues blocking them. When this happens it is possible that carbon monoxide that should have been vented to the outside will, instead, build up inside the home, along with smoke that will discolor the paint work.
Chimney fires are all too common, usually the result of a neglected chimney that was not cleaned. Creosote will build up inside a dirty chimney and can catch fire. A chimney fire will damage a chimneys liner buy cracking it and rendering the chimney inoperable until it is repaired.
Always have a chimney professionally inspected for cracks or other damage after there has been a chimney fire.
Stainless-steel liners should be cleaned every year. When rainwater mixes with soot it becomes acidic, deteriorating the joints in the stainless steel. This deterioration puts the home in great danger from fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
The best time to have your chimneys cleaned is in the spring, when most chimney sweeps are not very busy.
NOTE: Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, and has no smell. It is often referred to as the “silent killer”. Install ceiling mounted carbon monoxide detectors near furnaces, gas hot water heaters and log stoves as well as in the bedroom areas of the home.