A few days ago, TJK Air Cleaning was contacted by a homeowner in McLean, VA to clean her chimney. The homeowner had not had her chimney cleaned in several years and was concerned about the build-up of soot and creosote.
TJK Air Cleaning arrived at the home on time and began work immediately. The team used a powerful vacuum to remove the majority of the soot and creosote from the chimney. They then used a brush to scrub the remaining deposits from the chimney walls.
The homeowner was very pleased with the results of the chimney cleaning. She said that the chimney looked much cleaner and that she no longer felt concerned about a potential fire. She thanked TJK Air Cleaning for their hard work and professionalism.
Chimneys should be cleaned on a regular basis for safety reasons. "From 2014 to 2018, the leading factor contributing to home heating fires was a failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment like chimneys," said Lorraine Carli, Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in an email to House Beautiful.
"Creosote, which is an oily substance that builds up inside chimneys, is what leads to these fires." If you have a wood-burning fireplace, stove, or insert, you're at risk for a creosote fire.
While the NFPA recommends an annual chimney sweeping for all wood-burning fireplaces, chimney cleaning experts state that your sweep may suggest more frequent cleanings based on how much you use your fireplace. If you burn two or more cords of wood a season, you should get your chimney cleaned twice a year. If you're not sure when the last time your chimney was cleaned was, it's probably time to schedule a sweep.
The NFPA and TJK both suggest that you have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney at least once a year. If you use oil or wood-burning fireplaces, then depending on usage, those should be cleaned twice a year.
While a professional should clean and inspect your chimney annually, there are some things you can do to help maintain it year-round. TJK suggests keeping your firebox clean, making sure your damper is open before using your fireplace, and investing in a chimney cap or crown - these will prevent debris and animals from entering your chimney and home. Not only do we suggest making sure your chimney has a stainless steel liner, but also keep it up to code.
The average chimney cleaning takes between one and two hours. However, this duration can differ based on certain conditions such as:
If you have a spacious chimney and fireplace, then be prepared to spend more time cleaning it. If your chimney or fireplace is older, the professional is not familiar with the area, or there is a lot of soot and creosote build-up, then this will also result in a longer cleaning time.
The length of time the cleaning process will take also depends on how recently your chimney was last cleaned. If it has been a while since your chimney's last cleaning, expect the new one to take longer.
If you want to know an estimate for how long it will take to clean the chimney, make sure to ask before the process starts. Having this information in advance allows you to better plan your day.
Related Article: Chimney Cleaning Benefits: What You Need To Know!
Ensure your safety and improve your chimney's performance by regularly having it cleaned. Woodstoves, gas fireplaces, and traditional fireplace users alike all benefit from lighting a roaring fire in chilly weather. TJK Air Cleaning in Mclean is here to keep your fireplace and chimney clean, safe, and working properly all season long.
Our certified professionals in Mclean have the experience and knowledge necessary to provide you with the best chimney cleaning service available. We use state-of-the-art equipment to inspect and clean your chimney from the firebox to the top of the chimney.