Protect Your Home & Family With a Chimney Cleaning

Chimney cleaning is important to the overall health and safety of any home. In fact, avoiding chimney cleanings can compromise the air quality in the home due to creosote, ash, and particulate matter potentially entering the air when drafts occur. In addition, dirty chimneys greatly increase the risk of experiencing a chimney fire.

That’s why chimney sweeping should be a priority for every household with a wood-burning fireplace, insert, or stove. Get this maintenance booked at least once a year – and for those who burn more than a cord a year, then twice a year.

Homeowners should also consider having their chimneys inspected annually by an experienced chimney technician. This is a cost-effective fire prevention measure and can keep your chimney and venting system in good working order for the long haul.

How Do I Know My Chimney Needs Cleaning?

How do you know when your chimney needs to be serviced? This is a question we get a lot around here. Here’s where you can start to look – and some reasons behind what you might be seeing:

Stock photo - We do a set with plastic material and drop clothes to keep your home clean.  Maximum strength vacuum sitting in front on fireplace.

Chimney Cleaning – Setup

Stock photo of tech cleaning chimney wearing safety gear. Fireplace has plastic surrounding it, tools and vacuum on the floor with a tarp.

Chimney Cleaning

  • Check for discoloration or staining on the outside of the chimney. It doesn’t matter if you have masonry, stucco, or siding – discoloration is typically an indication of water intrusion and buildup or smoke damage.
  • Look for any rust on any metal part, as this can indicate water is getting in somewhere.
  • Damaged masonry or metal can also be indications that a cleaning is necessary, and can mean combustion gases are not being vented away properly.
  • Pay attention to strange odors coming from your fireplace, since this could mean that there is a draft issue and something needs to be serviced.
  • Finally, if you’ve been having difficulty with starting or maintaining fires in your fireplace, this could also be indicative that a chimney cleaning is due.

Following these guidelines will ensure you maintain an optimal and efficient venting system in your home.

Why Should I Have My Chimney Cleaned?

If you live in a home with a fireplace or wood stove, having your chimney inspected and cleaned is essential for ensuring it operates safely and efficiently. Why?

  1. Preventing Chimney Fires: Chimney fires are a dangerous and serious problem to have, but the good news is that they are preventable. Chimney fires can burn explosively with flames or dense smoke shooting from the top of the chimney, producing a loud sound like a freight train running at high speeds. Or they can be slow-burning and may not be as dramatic or visible. In fact, you may not even know they ever happened without an inspection.
  2. Avoiding Creosote Buildup: Creosote builds up over time in a chimney as the fireplace is used and wood is burned. Creosote is highly flammable and is the leading cause of chimney fires. Regular maintenance of your fireplace and chimney helps to keep your family safer by preventing buildup from getting out of hand and flue fires from happening.
  3. Reducing the Risk of Carbon Monoxide: Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur if your chimney is very dirty or if there is an animal nest or some other blockage in the chimney. This gas can also enter if you have a damaged flue liner or some other type of damage to the fireplace. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, and the symptoms of exposure can be difficult to detect because they mimic the symptoms of other illnesses.
  4. Preventing Animals From Entering Your Home: When we clean chimneys, there are times we find evidence of critters that make homes in these spaces. The most common animals that take residence in your chimney are raccoons, rats, mice, squirrels, bats, and birds. An inspection will provide options for animal entry prevention, like installing new chimney caps, adding screens, and more.
  5. Eliminating Bad Chimney Odors: Does your living room smell like a campfire? If so, we’re sure you’d like to stop those chimney odors. Even worse, musty or damp odors – or sometimes even a rotting smell – can also emanate from uncleaned chimneys. Whether it is due to a missing chimney cap, a crack in the chimney, damaged flashing, water being absorbed by the masonry materials, or something else, we have solutions.
  6. Improved Performance: Over time, the inside of a chimney flue gets coated with creosote and soot. A clean chimney allows for better air circulation, which ensures that the fire burns properly and releases enough heat. On the flip side, a chimney that is blocked by a buildup of creosote, birds’ nests, or some other type of debris will not be able to vent properly. This means you will have a fire that smokes too much – and no one likes smoke getting into their living spaces.

Call Us for Quality Solutions

Furnace flues and fireplace systems are designed for warmth and entertainment. Knowing that Chimney Masters cleaned and maintained your chimney ensures your safety and peace of mind when you wish to enjoy a fire.

Set up an appointment with our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified crew by calling 301-972-9158 or by reaching out online today.


An annual chimney inspection is important for catching problems early and maintaining the health of your chimney. Don’t put off this chimney and fireplace service