Crews across the metro are overwhelmed with calls of homeowners looking to have their chimney swept.
Justin Meridith owns Stillwater-based business Chimney Doctor. The past few weeks for him have been a whirlwind.
“In the last two weeks, we've filled the last eight weeks of our calendar,” said Meridith. “This week, we've filled another two weeks, that is just part of the time of the year.”
Cyndi Collins' home was on the list Thursday. Her family makes chimney inspections an annual occurrence.
“It is just a peace of mind, just knowing that it is safe and clean,” said Collins.
Experts have encountered dozens of build ups in chimney’s recently. Some, Meridith said, are a fire waiting to happen.
“We have specialized equipment that allows us to look at your (chimney) from many different angles all the way up and down,” said Meridith. “We can see things that you just can’t see, and that’s why it’s important to have a certified profession to do your chimney service.”
The type of wood you use to burn makes all the difference.
“I tell my customers they should buy their wood for next year right now,” said Meridith. “Store it in a cool dry place out of the rain. Green and wet wood creates a lot of creosote and a lot of tar.”
Each year, tens of thousands of chimney fires are reported nationwide costing over $100 million.
No type of fire is exempt.
“Whether it’s gas, whether it’s solid fuel, whether it’s pellet, it really doesn't matter. It should be serviced for safety,” said Meridith. “There is so many lives lost, so many homes that are lost, that are easily preventable if people would just have their appliances serviced.”
If you are looking to have some work done on your fireplace, make sure it is done by a certified professional.