Whether you use your fireplace on a regular basis or not, it’s always a good idea to have someone come out once a year or so to clean and inspect your chimney. Because the truth is that you have no idea what’s going on in that part of your house or up on the roof.
In general, you wouldn’t notice that there was a problem on the roof or in the chimney until it got bad enough to generate symptoms inside like a leaky ceiling. And if your chimney isn’t in good shape when you do go to use your fireplace, you could be creating a hazardous situation for yourself and your family.
There simply isn’t much about your chimney that you can discern with the naked eye or from the ground. In fact, the portion of your chimney that’s visible at all is really a very small percentage of the whole. There could be all types of structural problems hidden deep within the chimney that aren’t causing noticeable problems yet but that could begin to develop into larger issues if left untreated over time.
Just like with anything else, it’s best to get chimney repairs done early before they become larger problems. While a chimney may seem like a pretty straightforward piece of equipment, it actually has to retain a certain set of characteristics to make sure it functions properly and channels exhaust from a fire out properly.
The airflow through a chimney is carefully controlled and regulated. Any small defect or crack in the structure can cause smoke and other dangerous gasses to stay in the house rather than traveling outward. Also, just about anything can fall into your chimney during the year, and that may lead to partial or full blockages of the channel. If you don’t have your chimney checked before you use it, you’re very likely to wind up with an unpleasant surprise when you do want to curl up in front of a cozy fire.
Another side benefit of having your chimney inspected and cleaned is that it winds up getting a professional up on your roof looking around. Aside from chimney problems, they may also be able to spot damaged or decay in part of your roof that you’ll be able to get fixed sooner rather than later.