You may only use your fireplace a few times a year because of Texas’ mild winters, but we still recommend getting your chimney cleaned at least once a year for correct clearances, soundness, and freedom from deposit build-up. If you have a fireplace in your home, then it is essential to have its chimney and firebox cleaned. Instead of trying to remove soot, creosote, and debris from a chimney on your own, you should contact a professional and knowledgeable chimney sweep who has the proper brushes and inspection equipment to perform the task correctly. There are several telltale signs you can watch for that will indicate you need a fireplace repair or a chimney sweep. For expert chimney experts with specialized knowledge in chimney sweep services, contact 1st Choice Chimeny.

1: Poorly Burning Fires In a Fireplace

When you have problems starting a fire in a fireplace or keeping a fire burning for several hours, this is often because there is a problem in the chimney shaft that is preventing the proper flow of air. You must have good airflow to maintain a fire. Too much air can extinguish a fire while not enough will keep it from burning correctly. If you are having a problem keeping your fire burning, contact a chimney cleaning expert to inspect your home’s fireplace and chimney.

2: Smelling a Strong Odor From a Fireplace or Chimney

As a fire is burning in a fireplace, your home should have a pleasant odor from the wood rather than a foul, unpleasant odor. If you notice a strong odor, then there is a problem with the chimney’s shaft because the updraft system isn’t working correctly. The strong odors from a poor updraft can alert you that other odorless gases are inside your home. These gases can be harmful, including carbon monoxide that can lead to respiratory distress and even death.

3: Noticing Greasy Black Soot or Creosote

One thing you should check for every so often is grease or creosote in your chimney. Try reaching inside your fireplace and touching the walls, being aware of greasy black soot or creosote substance. These substances develop over several months in the internal structures of your home’s chimney. The grease may seem harmless, but it is actually quite dangerous, especially if it is left unchecked, allowing it to build up and develop into creosote.  In some cases, creosote can begin to burn, leading to an internal chimney fire that can burn through the walls into a room. Creosote also contains chemicals that are not safe to breathe, and you should have the grease removed immediately.

4: Noticing a Buildup of Smoke While Burning Wood

When a fire creates a buildup of smoke inside your home, It is because there is a blockage in the chimney shaft. Numerous things can create a blockage inside a chimney, including leaves and branches from trees. If there is a buildup of grease on the interior surfaces of a fireplace’s chimney, then the debris from burning wood can collect on the substance, creating a blockage.

5: Having a Damper That Is In Bad Condition

It is important to make sure that a fireplace’s damper is in top-notch condition because it regulates the flow of air into a fireplace and chimney. If you notice that a fireplace’s damper is difficult to open or close, then it is important to have the item repaired as quickly as possible to prevent further problems.

6: Hearing Animals or Birds Inside the Walls

If you have noticed a fluttering or scurrying noise inside the walls near a home’s chimney, then you need to have a fireplace and chimney inspected, as these sounds typically mean you have some furry friends trying to seek shelter in your chimney. Animals such as raccoons and squirrels can enter a chimney on a home’s rooftop to live inside the structure. Further, birds can build nests inside a chimney, creating a blockage that is composed of grass and straw that can burn down a home.

If you need to hire a certified chimney sweep in Texas, then call 1st Choice Chimney Services LLC. Our chimney cleaning experts can provide fireplace repair in Dallas, Fort Worth or Austin.