Do you think about whether or not your chimney or fireplace is clean? Yep, I didn't either. It wasn't until I realized I had never had the fireplace and chimney inspected since I moved in in 2013.

What happened with the chimney techs who came out and inspected it surprised me. How often should it be cleaned, and what should you look for when you burn a fire?

Who should inspect your fireplace and how often?

bhunter/tsm
bhunter/tsm
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It might not be the thing you are looking forward to the most, the whole cleaning the fireplace, but you do need to do it. If you are just cleaning the firebox, where you burn the wood, you will need to wait at least 24 hours from the time you last had a fire, before you clean the ashes out of the fireplace.

How often should you get the firebox and the chimney inspected in New York?

A. Boris
A. Boris
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If your chimney and fireplace are used infrequently, you can go two years between inspections, but only if your chimney tech says so.

What do the chimney techs inspect when they do the annual inspection?

Fireplace
Stephen Vanhorn
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They look at the integrity of the firebox, is it rusted, does the flue open and close easily? They will also look at the integrity of the mason work, what does your flue liner look like? Do you need a flue liner? Let's hope you don't need that, that is a 'fun' expense you will never forget. They will also look at the pointing of the mason work (the mud used to join the stones or bricks). Is it crumbling, or cracking?

What to do if the chimney techs say your fireplace is not safe?

Photo Credit: CORCORAN COUNTRY LIVING MLS
Photo Credit: CORCORAN COUNTRY LIVING MLS
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Don't use the fireplace is the shortest and easiest answer. If you want to use it, ask them what they think, can you use an insert but still use the chimney? These things are not cheap. It might be less expensive to not use it, period, but don't be shy about asking another company for a second opinion.

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