How Can I Tell if I Need my Chimney Cleaned?

 How Can I Tell if I Need my Chimney Cleaned?

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 No feeling in the world can compare to sitting around the fireplace with your family. You get that warm and cozy feeling while interacting with the people you love. If you want to continue enjoying this type of togetherness, you will need your chimney cleaned periodically.

 With some things, it is easy to detect when maintenance is needed. You know you need a mechanic if your car starts to knock or make other strange sounds. If the washer is not thoroughly rinsing the clothes, you know that you need to find a repairer. If you open your freezer and everything is thawed, you know you have a problem.

 However, when dealing with a flue, it can be difficult to tell if maintenance is needed. A fully functioning stack is essential and regular maintenance is a crucial component. We suggest looking for a variety of specific signs that will indicate you may have an issue and need to get your chimney cleaned.

Oily Spots

 An example of one of these signs is oily spots on the walls of the fireplace. Typically, if you notice black and oily areas on the fireplace walls, it indicates a creosote buildup. This tar-like substance can create issues with airflow in the chimney.

 When the airflow is reduced, your fire may burn colder or in an odd way. When looking for creosote deposits, you should visually inspect the damper, the stack’s lining, and around the stove. Most of the time, the buildup is easy to spot. However, if you can’t remove some of this creosote, it is time to call a professional at 888 -889-3828 and get your chimney cleaned.

Poor Burning

 For a fire to burn properly, it needs a particular amount of oxygen. If your damper is damaged or the flue is clogged, you may experience problems starting a fire. It may take longer to ignite because of the lack of oxygen.

 It may also be more challenging to maintain due to trapped exhaust gases or reduced air. If your fire is not getting enough oxygen to burn correctly, you may need to contact an expert sweeper. A sweeper can remove the obstacles affecting oxygen intake, improving the fireplace’s safety, and improving fire capabilities.


 If your home does not smell as fresh and clean as it should, your smokestack may be the issue. The natural burning by-product of burning fire, creosote, may be the culprit. We already discussed the visual aspect of creosote, but it also has an odor side.

 A campfire odor around your fireplace is the first hint that creosote is building up. At first, you may like this smell. However, creosote is a highly flammable material, so it must be removed before it starts a fire in your flue, causing massive damage to your fireplace and home.


 Another clear indicator that maintenance is needed is the presence of animals. If the cap of your smokestack is damaged or in a state of disrepair, animals can quickly enter the flue but cannot always get out of it. The warm, dark area inside your fireplace is the perfect spot for animals and birds to raise a family.

 If these animals do nest inside the fireplace shaft, these nests can reduce or block ventilation and airflow. These nests can also catch fire when you start a fireplace, creating a dangerous situation. When you visually inspect the area, you should look for droppings, debris, and dislodged brickwork, indicating animals’ presence.


 If you commonly see soot dropping back into the fireplace, you may need a thorough sweeping. Another sign of too much soot buildup is black material in the firebox or on the hearth. Soot is considered to be a precursor to the more dangerous creosote buildup.

 When the wind blows, it can dislodge soot and other debris, making the obstruction worse or causing significant damage to the stack. It is easier to remove soot than it is to remove creosote. So, it is best to get your chimney cleaned before it turns to creosote.


 One of the most severe signs that your smokestack needs to be cleaned is an excessive amount of smoke. When you start a fire and smoke comes into the room, it generally indicates that a blockage has occurred in the stack.

 It can also indicate that soot, grime, creosote, or an animal has clogged the flue. If smoke is not escaping, it means that your stack is not working correctly or effectively, meaning your family’s health may be in danger.

 If you detect any of these particular signs, you should contact a reputable chimney expert and get your chimney cleaned immediately. At United Hood Cleaning, we provide various offerings for the NYC area, including the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. These offerings include air duct cleaning, restaurant kitchen hood cleaning, and hood installation, as well as chimney sweeping. For more information, call us today at 888 -889-3828.

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