Clean Sweep Chimney Service was founded in 1977, and is the recipient of several industry awards. - Call us today! 636-477-9966
Clean Sweep Chimney Service

4004 Emerald Drive
St. Charles, MO 63304

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Clean Sweep Chimney Service


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How Can I Tell if My Chimney Needs Cleaning?


The answer to whether it is time for you to schedule chimney cleaning services could be as easy as checking a calendar. If you use your wood-burning fireplace or wood stove every winter and it has been more than a year since you scheduled professional cleaning services, chimney cleaning is likely needed. The National Fire Protection Association recommends annual chimney cleaning along with annual chimney inspections, the latter of which all experts agree on. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) says the answer to “how can I tell if my chimney needs cleaning” is when creosote buildup is at least 1/8” thick. Information about creosote and more signs that your chimney needs cleaning follows.

Creosote is Why Chimney Cleaning Services are Vital

The creosote in your chimney is tar-like, sooty, and highly flammable. Some of this combustion byproduct is deposited in your chimney lining with every wood fire. Embers floating up during a fire are normal, and it is easy for embers to ignite the creosote, starting a hazardous chimney fire that could become a devastating house fire.

Most chimney fires cause damage to the chimney liner, which is an emergency situation. No heating appliance should be used until the chimney liner is repaired or replaced. If there is so much as a tiny crack in a chimney liner, your home and family are in danger of the following:

  • Potential exposure to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning
  • A home fire that results from combustible materials being frequently exposed to high temperatures, a process called pyrolysis.

What’s that Odor?

If creosote builds up excessively inside your chimney liner, it is normal for the smell of burned wood to be detected around your fireplace whether a fire is going or not. A campfire is great for roasting marshmallows and keeping warm on a chilly night, but a campfire smell is not the home fragrance most homeowners are going for unless there is a fire glowing in the hearth.

Flunking Fire-Starting?

If your fireplace is suddenly an aggravation because getting fires to start is extremely difficult, it could be because there is an obstruction in the chimney. Of course, oxygen is one of the required components for fires to get started. A clogged chimney restricts the airflow that usually helps to feed fires. No need to call a Boy Scout for campfire-building instruction. Instead, call your trusted chimney sweep company for chimney cleaning services.

The Fire is Weak

A strong chimney draft is needed for the fireplace and chimney to operate properly. Without a good draft, the environment isn’t right for strong fires. So, when you finally get your fire going, it languishes and provides minimal warmth. This is another sign that you may have a dirty chimney.

Choking on Smoke

Another problem when the fire doesn't burn well is that smoke goes into the room instead of up the chimney like usual. The toxic combustion gases created by a fire can endanger the health of your family. Deadly carbon monoxide is among the types of combustion fumes that may enter your home because of an obstruction. The health of anyone with respiratory problems could suffer due to a smoky fireplace.

Contact Clean Sweep Chimney Service

If you are having trouble with your fireplace or chimney, it is highly likely that chimney cleaning services are needed. Contact the certified chimney sweeps at Clean Sweep Chimney Service. We have provided reliable chimney services to St. Charles and the entire St. Louis MO area since the 1970s. It's so nice to have a fireplace, but chimney services are needed routinely, especially if your appliance burns wood. Give us a call at 636-477-9966 today for top-notch chimney cleaning services provided by dedicated CSIA-certified professionals.