It's that time of year again! The leaves are changing color, the air is getting colder, and pumpkin spice everything is back in season. It's also time to start thinking about your chimney. Yes, that chimney.

If you don't clean it regularly, all of that soot and creosote can build up and cause a fire. Not to mention, it can be dangerous for you and your family. In this blog post, we will talk about when you should clean your chimney, what goes into a chimney inspection, why it's important to clean your chimney regularly, and how to find the right company to do the job for you.

What time of year should you clean your chimney?

It's recommended that you have your chimney cleaned every year, ideally before the start of the cold season. This allows you to make sure that there are no obstructions in the flue and that it is free of creosote.

In the Southeast U.S., it's a good idea to have your chimney inspected each fall before you begin using it. An inspection has many benefits, from checking internal cleanliness to external support and stability.

What does a chimney inspection include?

A typical chimney inspection includes an examination of the exterior masonry, the interior lining of the chimney, and any other related components, such as dampers or fireboxes. A professional will also check for signs of water damage and potential blockages due to animal nesting.

While damage from a storm or age may be obvious to the naked eye, an inspection is much more thorough. The goal is to uncover and address issues before they become dangerous -or expensive- hazards.

Why do chimneys need to be cleaned?

Chimneys accumulate soot and creosote over time which can cause blockages and become a fire hazard. The creosote can also collect in the flue, leading to a decrease in the efficiency of your chimney. If left unchecked for too long, it can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and other health hazards.

Clean chimneys also function better. For example, a clean chimney is less likely to smoke, and it's more effective in venting fumes from wood-burning fireplaces.

How often should a chimney be cleaned?

You should have your chimney inspected at least once per year by a professional chimney sweep and cleaner. This will ensure that any potential hazards are caught before they become an issue. Additionally, if you burn wood on a regular basis, it's important to have the chimney swept at least twice each year -once before the burning season starts and once more near the end.

By getting your chimney cleaned toward the end of the season, as well, you can help prevent any potential creosote build-up from being an issue.

Can I do it myself?

In short – no! Cleaning a chimney is a job that should be done by a professional. A chimney sweep is trained to clean the chimney safely and effectively while also inspecting it for any potential issues. This can save you time and money in the long run, as well as give you peace of mind knowing that your chimney is safe and functioning properly.

There are many risks associated with attempting to DIY your chimney cleaning. They include the possibility of getting stuck, falling off the roof, as well as the potential for a chimney fire.

The benefit of hiring a professional chimney and fireplace cleaner

Hiring a professional chimney cleaning service has many advantages over doing it yourself. A trained technician will have the right tools and equipment to do the job correctly, as well as access to safety gear such as masks and harnesses. They will be able to spot signs of water damage, structural problems, and other hazards that could cause future issues. 

Additionally, a professional cleaner will be able to give you advice and tips on how to maintain your chimney, as well as any other related services such as bird-proofing or preventative maintenance.

Finding the right company

When looking for a good chimney sweep or cleaning service it is important to do your research. You want to make sure that the technician is experienced, qualified and certified by national organizations such as The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). It's also a good idea to read reviews from past clients so you can get an idea of their quality of work.

If you don't have any friends or family members who can recommend a good company, you can always turn to for the assurance that each company has been fully vetted. Whether you need an inspection, cleaning, or repair, these companies are up to the task.

Once you have found the right company for the job, ask questions about their methods, experience, and insurance coverage. This will help ensure that your chimney is cleaned properly and safely.


Cleaning a chimney should be done by a professional once per year, preferably at the beginning and end of the burning season. Doing so will ensure that any potential hazards are addressed before they become dangerous or expensive issues. Hiring a trained technician also ensures the job is done correctly, saving you time and money in the long run. Finally, make sure to do some research on the company you choose to make sure it has good reviews, qualified technicians, and proper insurance coverage.

If you are ready to clean and protect your home’s chimney and fireplace, a chimney inspection and cleaning is the way to go. And when you use a TrustDALE certified professional, you're always protected by Dale's trademark $10,000 Make-It-Right Guarantee. So start looking for a trusted chimney and fireplace professional in your area today!

By following these tips, you can keep your home safe while ensuring your chimney functions optimally!

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