Time to Give Your Chimney a Clean Sweep

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MIDDLEBURG -- It’s the season for making sure your chimney is swept! It’s the busiest time of year for chimney cleaners. One professional said chimney sweeping is an absolute necessity before you use your fireplace or furnace this year.

As the weather cools down, people turn on the heat inside their homes. Professionals said it is very important to have your chimneys swept before you use your fireplace to prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Chimney fires can burn at as hot as 2,100 degrees if there's a lot of creosote in the chimney so that can crack tile, break down structure of brick, and often spread into the structure of the house,” said Mark Linn of Benchmark Chimney Preservation.

Linn serviced a home in Middleburg. Lois Stahl and her family moved there in June and wanted to make sure they were ready for winter.

“My husband likes to have fires and enjoys the fireplace. We want to have it safe for the children. It's something we do yearly, have our fireplaces checked,” said Stahl.

“Making sure that all the debris is out from the damper on the fireplace. Probably the most neglected spot on the house because it's very hard to get to,” said Linn.

Chimney sweeping is something that some people try and do themselves, but Linn said it's not a do it yourself project. It's best to call a professional.

“There will be a lot of debris that's in the chimney that you can't see without a proper cleaning. A clogged chimney can cause carbon monoxide backups into the house,” said Linn.

Linn also recommends people only use hard woods such as oak or chestnut in their fireplaces. He said it usually costs between 100 and 125 dollars to have your chimney swept.