Now that summer has officially wrapped up, we can look ahead to the excitement of fall and winter. The leaves have started changing, the breeze has a crisp edge to it, and everyone is out enjoying the beautiful weather. Just around the corner are several fun, family holidays and maybe even a bit of snow. While this is what most people have on their minds right now, every savvy homeowner who plans to use their fireplace this season should be thinking about chimney maintenance and how vital it is to their safety.

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Experts recommend regular chimney maintenance at least once per year. While having the chimney maintenance before and after every season’s use is ideal, servicing it now before the burning season starts is the next best practice. Basic chimney maintenance should include a sweep and an inspection by a professional mason.

A chimney sweep has two functions. The first function is to find and remove any obstructions from the chimney. Small animals, like birds and squirrels, find the tight quarters of the flue to be a perfect place to build a nest. When these animals and the debris they bring in with them block the flue, your fireplace will not vent properly. Instead of all the smoke and toxic gases escaping through the chimney, they back up into the home. This can have serious consequences, like carbon monoxide poisoning.

The other function of the chimney sweep is to clean out any buildup of creosote. This tarlike product of burning wood clings to the walls of the flue, which can eventually create an obstruction if left to build up for too long. Creosote is also highly flammable, so leaving this residue in your chimney could result in a dangerous chimney or house fire.

An inspection is also crucial to maintaining a safely functioning fireplace and chimney. Inspections look for issues that can potentially cost you thousands in repair at best. Water damage is a common problem in masonry chimneys, and your inspector will catch it. If water damage is not caught in time, it may eventually result in a cracked or collapsed chimney, a rusted flue or damper, and even water damage to the interior of your home. Inspectors will ensure your fireplace and chimney are in good working condition, so your home will stay strong and beautiful for years to come.

To make sure you have a properly performed chimney sweep and inspection, get in touch with a trusted expert in chimney servicing. If you live in the area of Louisville, Kentucky, contact All American Chimney Service, LLC for a professional consultation. Your home and family will thank you for making such a wise investment.