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 Fireplace Needs Cleaning


This may shock you, especially if you love warming by a cozy fire, but learning the facts on how to know if chimney and fireplace cleaning is needed could prevent death and destruction. We aren’t trying to be alarmists at Clean Sweep Chimney Service—we really care. According to the EPA, dirty chimneys are the leading cause of home heating fires, which result in about 400 civilian deaths and approximately $9 million in the destruction of property every year. 

The major culprit behind these fires is creosote, which is a highly flammable combustion byproduct of wood fires. Anyone with a wood-burning fireplace needs to know when it’s time to schedule chimney and fireplace cleaning, as is detailed below. 

Consult the Calendar about Fireplace and Chimney Cleaning

The most accurate and easiest way to determine how to know if your fireplace or chimney needs cleaning is to check your calendar. Has it been a year or more since you’ve scheduled a chimney cleaning? According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), both a chimney inspection and chimney cleaning should be scheduled every year without fail. So, go ahead and schedule chimney cleaning if it hasn’t been done in the last 12 months. Ask your chimney service whether fireplace cleaning is included with chimney cleaning--it usually is.

Consult your Nose About Fireplace Smells

Be sure to take notice if your fireplace has the odor of burned wood like an outdoor campfire even when there’s no fire in the fireplace. The lingering odor is most likely caused by creosote buildup in the chimney. Beware of breathing in too much creosote, whether through your nose or mouth. Creosote is a toxic substance that can cause respiratory problems, particularly among the very young and the elderly.

Starting Fires is Frustrating

If you’ve ever tried starting a fire in the fireplace but can’t seem to get the flames going, the problem could be a dirty chimney. What is usually happening is that the draft is weak due to blockage. Obstructions in chimneys are common and lack of maintenance is typically the cause. Creosote builds up layer upon layer until it is finally removed, and chimney cleaning performed by a chimney sweep is recommended. 

The Fireplace is Smoky

A smoky fireplace is often caused by a dirty chimney. Carbon monoxide fumes and other toxic gases are unable to escape through the chimney because the flue is obstructed, and the toxic fumes just naturally blow back into the home. A smoky fireplace can be dangerous for several reasons, one of which is that occupants of the household can suffer harm and even possibly death as a result of carbon monoxide exposure.

Contact Clean Sweep Chimney Service

Chimney and fireplace cleaning is recommended annually by trusted fire safety groups. The certified chimney experts at Clean Sweep Chimney Service can help. With a clean chimney, you can enjoy your fireplace without fear. We’ve provided reliable services in the St. Louis MO area since the 1970s. Call us at 636-477-9966 today.