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Why You Should Get Your Chimney Cleaned (at least Every Year, if not more!)

It’s winter time and you have probably already been using your fireplace.  The question is when was the last time you cleaned the chimney yourself or had a professional do it?  In this article, we will talk about why you should get your chimney cleaned (at least every year), and how frequently it needs to be done. 

Hiring a Professional Chimney Sweep

Whether you have lived in your house for several years, or just recently moved in, calling a professional chimney sweep company is important to look at your chimney(s).  

Over the last few months, I have seen several flues that were at high risk with major problems.  Be it level III creosote buildup, cracked liners, broken or missing liners, liners that had gaps and were shifted almost two inches.  

Let’s talk about the risks.


damaged flueBy not maintaining your chimney & flues properly, you open yourself up to high risks and expensive repairs down the road.

Risk #1 = Chimney Fire

A chimney fire can happen at any time.  The cause of a chimney fire is a buildup of soot and creosote inside the firebox, smoke shelf, and the flue.  And unfortunately, many times, homeowners are unaware of a chimney fire until it’s too late.  

Risk #2 = Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen when operating any appliance that uses a chimney or flue.  Broken, missing, or cracked flue liners allow the CO to go back inside the chimney structure and enter the living space of the home.

Risk #3 = Expensive Repairs

Over time, clay liners will deteriorate due to the gases, soot, previous cleaning methods, water damage.  They also may crack from the extreme heat or from a previous chimney fire.  Clay liners do expand and contract during the use of an appliance.

Getting Your Chimney Cleaned

Calling to schedule your chimney sweep is best done in the springtime or summer.  During winter is not an ideal time to be cleaning your chimney.  

By getting your chimney cleaned during the spring or early summer you will rid your home of that soot smell.  We can also provide you with a more thorough inspection too.

If your flue or flues have heavy creosote buildup, it may take more than one visit to clean it.  Removing heavy creosote buildup takes time and involves more than just using a chimney brush.

Find out how often your Chimney needs a cleaning

According to the NFPA, every chimney/flue should be cleaned and inspected annually.  With that being said, if you burn for several hours on a daily basis, it should be done more than once during the burning season.

By using your fireplace or woodstove continually during the winter, it would be best to get it cleaned halfway through the season.  

Whether you use your appliance daily or not, at a minimum, it should be cleaned and inspected annually.  And preferably before the first snow fall.

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Ike Paxton

Ike Paxton owns and operates Paxton Chimney Sweep & Repair.

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Call Paxton Chimney Sweep


Office:  701-515-4684
Cell:  701-306-0472

Fargo Location


705 14th St. S
Fargo, ND  58103

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