The Dos And Don’ts Of Chimney Maintenance

The Dos And Don’ts Of Chimney Maintenance

The allure of a roaring fireplace during a chilly Wisconsin evening is unmatched. That comforting aroma, the warmth that spreads throughout the room, and the hypnotic dance of the flames all make for a delightful experience. However, just as we enjoy these moments, it’s equally crucial to ensure the safety of our homes and families by maintaining that very chimney providing us this joy.

Chimney maintenance might seem mundane, but it plays a pivotal role in preserving the safety and efficiency of your fireplace. At Ledegar Roofing in La Crosse, Wisconsin, we know chimneys inside and out. Let’s delve into some essential dos and don’ts for homeowners.

The Dos Of Chimney Cleaning And Maintenance

  1. Do Schedule Regular Inspections: A good rule of thumb is to have your chimney inspected annually. Even if you use your fireplace minimally, animals may nest in the flue, or there may be other obstructions or damages that you’re unaware of.
  2. Do Clean Your Chimney Annually: Depending on usage, soot, creosote (a flammable by-product of burning wood), and other debris will accumulate in your chimney. This not only impacts the efficiency of your fireplace but poses a significant fire risk.
  3. Do Opt for Professional Cleaning: Expert chimney cleaners, like our team at Ledegar Roofing, have the equipment, expertise, and experience to conduct a thorough cleaning, ensuring your chimney functions efficiently and safely.
  4. Do Install a Chimney Cap: This prevents wildlife, rain, and debris from entering your chimney. A cap equipped with wire mesh sides will also prevent embers from escaping and landing on your roof.
  5. Do Burn Seasoned Hardwood: Hardwoods like oak, maple, or ash, which have been dried for at least six months, burn hotter and cleaner. This reduces the buildup of creosote compared to unseasoned or soft woods.

The Don’ts Of Chimney Cleaning And Maintenance

  1. Don’t Assume Your Chimney is Problem-Free: Just because smoke is wafting up your chimney doesn’t mean everything is functioning perfectly. Invisible issues might be lurking, from creosote buildup to tiny cracks that can lead to significant problems down the line.
  2. Don’t Skimp on Professional Services: While DIY is the buzzword for many homeowners, your chimney isn’t the place to cut corners. Professional chimney cleaners like Ledegar Roofing ensure the job is done right, protecting both your home’s structure and the health of your family.
  3. Don’t Burn Green Wood or Trash: Green or unseasoned wood produces more creosote when burned. Trash, especially plastics, release toxic chemicals that can corrode your chimney and are harmful to inhale.
  4. Don’t Ignore Signs of Trouble: A reduced draft, smoke entering your home, an accumulation of soot in the fireplace, or a strong, unpleasant odor are all red flags. If you notice any of these, it’s time to call in the experts.
  5. Don’t Forget the Exterior: The portion of your chimney that extends above your roof is exposed to the elements. Periodically check for cracks, missing mortar, or loose bricks. These are signs that your chimney needs attention.

The Importance Of Expert Chimney Cleaners

Attempting to clean and maintain a chimney without the proper knowledge can lead to overlooked issues or even exacerbate existing problems. Further, without the right equipment, reaching every nook and cranny of your chimney is nearly impossible.

Expert chimney cleaners, like our seasoned team at Ledegar Roofing, bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. From identifying early signs of damage to ensuring a comprehensive cleaning, their role is paramount in preserving the lifespan of your chimney and the safety of your home.

Additionally, professionals can provide invaluable advice tailored to your specific fireplace and chimney type, ensuring maximum efficiency and safety.


In the grand scheme of homeownership, chimney maintenance is a small yet vital aspect. The very element that brings warmth and coziness to your home can become a hazard if not adequately maintained. By following these dos and don’ts and partnering with expert chimney cleaners, you safeguard your home and, most importantly, your loved ones.

At Ledegar Roofing, La Crosse, we pride ourselves on offering top-notch chimney cleaning and maintenance services. Our commitment isn’t just about ensuring a clean chimney; it’s about delivering peace of mind. Trust in our expertise and let us help you keep the home fires burning safely. Let us do the dirty work. Call 608-785-0901 or contact us for free estimate.

Essential Guide For Chimney Inspection & Cleaning

Essential Guide For Chimney Inspection & Cleaning

As the last embers of winter fade away and the warmth of spring envelops us, it’s the perfect time to ensure your chimney is ready for the next cold season. A well-maintained chimney not only keeps your home safe from potential fire hazards but also ensures your fireplace operates efficiently, providing you with warmth and comfort when you need it most. At Ledegar Roofing, La Crosse’s residential chimney cleaning and maintenance experts, we’ve prepared an essential guide to getting your chimney inspected and cleaned this spring so you can enjoy a worry-free winter by the hearth.

Understanding The Importance Of Chimney Inspections And Cleanings

Chimney inspections and cleanings are crucial for maintaining the safety and efficiency of your fireplace. Over time, creosote, a highly flammable byproduct of wood-burning, can build up on the walls of your chimney, increasing the risk of a chimney fire. Regular inspections and cleanings help prevent dangerous creosote buildup and identify any structural issues or damage that may affect your chimney’s performance.

The Three Levels Of Chimney Inspections

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends three levels of chimney inspections:

  • Level 1: A basic inspection performed annually, focusing on the readily accessible parts of your chimney and fireplace.
  • Level 2: A more in-depth inspection, usually performed when changes have been made to your chimney or heating system or after a significant event, such as a chimney fire or natural disaster.
  • Level 3: The most comprehensive inspection, involving the removal of certain chimney components to gain access to hidden areas. This level is typically reserved for situations where serious hazards are suspected.

The chimney professionals at Ledegar Roofing will recommend the appropriate level of inspection based on your specific circumstances and needs.

The Chimney Sweeping Process

During a chimney cleaning, a trained professional from Ledegar Roofing will use specialized tools and equipment to remove creosote buildup, soot, and debris from your chimney’s walls and flue liner. This process not only reduces the risk of chimney fires but also helps improve the efficiency of your fireplace, allowing for better airflow and more complete combustion.

Signs Your Chimney May Need Cleaning

While annual inspections and cleanings are recommended, certain signs may indicate your chimney requires immediate attention:

  • A strong, unpleasant odor coming from your fireplace.
  • Excessive smoke when using your fireplace.
  • A black, oily substance on the walls of your chimney or fireplace.
  • Sudden changes in your fireplace’s performance.

If you notice any of these signs, contact a chimney professional at Ledegar Roofing for an inspection and cleaning as soon as possible.

Chimney Safety Tips

To ensure the safety and efficiency of your fireplace, follow these essential chimney safety tips:

  • Burn seasoned, dry wood to minimize creosote buildup.
  • Install a chimney cap to prevent debris, animals, and water from entering your chimney.
  • Regularly inspect your chimney’s exterior for signs of damage, such as cracks or missing mortar.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and test them regularly.
  • Never leave a fire unattended and always use a fireplace screen.

Choosing A Trusted Chimney Professional

When it comes to chimney maintenance, it’s essential to select a qualified, experienced company to perform your inspections and cleanings. At Ledegar Roofing, our team of residential chimney experts is dedicated to providing top-quality service and expert advice to homeowners in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the surrounding areas.

Don’t wait until the next winter chill to discover your chimney needs attention. Call us at 608-785-0901 to learn more about our chimney services and to request a FREE estimate. Our experienced team is ready to help you ensure your chimney is safe, clean, and ready to provide warmth and comfort all winter long. With Ledegar Roofing by your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that your chimney is in the capable hands of La Crosse’s residential chimney experts. So, don’t hesitate – take the first step towards a cozy, worry-free winter by scheduling your spring chimney inspection and cleaning today.