Chimney Maintenance Tips

two chairs with pillows and blankets next to a fireplace

There’s nothing like a warm glow from your fireplace on a cold winter day. To ensure you and your loved ones stay safe this holiday season, BPG Inspections has prepared a list of chimney maintenance tips.


Why you should regularly clean your chimney

A clean chimney is extremely important in preventing house fires. According to the CSIA, there are more than 25,000 chimney fires each year in the U.S. Over time, creosote, a highly flammable substance, builds up inside your chimney, dampers, and flues. This carbonaceous chemical can also lead to dangerous health problems.


How often you should inspect and clean your chimney

We highly recommend having a chimney inspection by a reputable chimney sweep at least once a year. Cleaning may vary depending on how often you use your chimney. Even if you don’t use it regularly, critters such as birds and raccoons can be nesting inside.

The best time to clean your chimney is right before the temperature starts to drop.


How to clean your chimney

Cleaning your chimney is possible without a professional if you have the right tools, spare time, and are good at following directions.

Tools you will need:

  • Dust mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Chimney brush
  • Shop vacuum
  • Tarp or drop cloth (for the floor and furniture)
  • Flashlight
  • Ladder
  • Shovel and broom
  • Metal bucket


Steps for cleaning your chimney

How to deep-clean your fireplace


Maintaining your chimney

Maintaining your chimney and fireplace ensures a safer environment to build your fire and can be done with the following steps:

  • Remove the ashes and soot before letting them accumulate
  • Open the damper entirely before lighting a fire in the firebox
  • Only burn seasoned wood that has dried for 8-12 months
  • Build the fire safely by slowly adding more wood as it heats


Professional inspection and cleaning

Before you start using your fireplace this season, we highly recommend having it inspected and cleaned by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. An inspection will reveal if your chimney and venting systems are in good working order.

Find a local CSIA Certified Professional.