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Every homeowner loves his or her fireplace, whether it is for usage or decoration.  However, those who use it probably do not enjoy the chimney upkeep.  While it can feel overwhelming,  there are many professionals who can get the job done.  As a homeowner, neglecting these tasks can cause damage to your chimney and fireplace, and throughout your home. A chimney with improper draft can cause smoke to enter the home, as well as other toxic gases.

An annual cleaning and inspection serves many critical functions related to safety, performance and efficiency.

An annual cleaning and inspection serves many critical functions related to safety, performance and efficiency.

One of the most common chimney tasks is the yearly sweep and inspection.  This is more important than it sounds because many unsafe particles called creosotes can build up in the chimney and then be released in the air and spread through the home.  Other common chimney blockages can include fallen chimney parts, such as broken bricks, and leaves and twigs.  Certified sweeps use brushes to clean and a special vacuum device, which will collect debris and reduce the chance of a mess being made.

If your chimney is damaged and in need of repairs there can be more problems than just with the fireplace.  When water gets into the chimney, mold often follows.  When these mold particles get in contact with the rest of your home, they can begin to grow in walls and foundation.  This could then be spread into the air that you and your family breathe.

The chimney sweep will also see if the air is escaping the chimney properly; if not, gases and smoke may be forced back into the home.  This can be due to many things caused by draft problems.  A professional can check common problem areas, such as the size and length of the structure and the outside sources the chimney works with.  Surprisingly, a chimney can be too short and doubling in height can increase the draft by 41 percent.  Aside from these reasons, having professionals look at your chimney can also save you from many other dangers, including house fires.