If you’ve got the dirtiest chimney Santa’s ever seen, you could be in for a bigger surprise than a lump of coal in your stocking this Christmas. Waiting too long on chimney cleaning is dangerous – and not just for Santa’s suit!
Chimney Filth Is Not Festive
Though a great addition to holiday décor, your chimney is not maintenance free. It’s job – to keep the air inside your home breathable while you’re warming up by that festive holiday fire – is made increasingly difficulty as chimney filth builds up, leading to…
A 2009 report revealed that of the approximately 59,000 house fires that year, 55% were the result of using a fireplace that was not properly cleaned and maintained. This is why the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends chimney cleaning annually. We know you like a little added sparkle and shine over the holidays, but scheduling a fireplace cleaning can help you keep it under wraps.
- Creosote exposure
Santa’s cheeks may be rosy for a reason: Creosote, a flammable tar-like substance, is deposited within your chimney every time you burn. In addition to building up and potentially blocking your chimney or igniting to start a home fire, it can also cause skin and eye irritation on contact (similar to chemical burns), breathing problems, kidney and liver dysfunction, seizures and confusion, and skin cancer.
- Soot inhalation
Soot, another by-product of incomplete combustion, also deposits within your fireplace and chimney. It carries potent toxins, and like creosote can result in respiratory infections, lung hazards and diseases. If you don’t want Santa’s hacking to wake the kids up while he’s dropping off that gaggle of goods, it might be time for a fireplace cleaning.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
Did Santa leave footprints on his last visit? Do you see soot buildup on your damper, chimney or interior walls? Smell smoke when you burn a fire, or notice a burning smell even when nothing’s aflame? These are all signs you are well-past due for a chimney cleaning. When your chimney is blocked with creosote or other debris (animal nests, leaves, etc.), proper ventilation cannot occur, putting your family at risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Serious business, this colorless, odorless gas, can strike without your knowledge, leading to flu-like symptoms, nausea, fatigue, confusion, and headache, and with over-long exposure, lead to heart and brain damage, and ultimately death. Don’t let it forever darken your holiday season. Protect your family with a clean chimney and working carbon monoxide detectors.
Worried about reindeer poop on your roof? Well, there may be worse in your chimney. If chimney swifts – small, brownish-black birds – take up residence in your chimney, they can also leave behind unwanted filth in their droppings, leading to histoplasmosis. This fungus can cause a respiratory infection that looks like a cold/flu, including a chronic cough, chest pain, fever and chills, and lack of appetite and weight loss.
For a Less Than Hazardous Holiday – Schedule Your Chimney Cleaning Today…
Let Santa enjoy those cookies and milk with clean fingers (and keep his footprints off your floor). Schedule your annual fireplace and chimney maintenance and inspection. Contact Aire Serv® today.