How often should I have my chimney swept or cleaned? 

The chimney should be cleaned annually per the Chimney Safety Institute of America.  If you don’t burn enough to warrant a cleaning it is still recommended to have your fireplace inspected by a chimney professional annually to check for structural integrity. 

Why do chimneys need to be cleaned? 

Chimney cleaning is all about safety and longevity of the burning system.  Creosoot is acidic and when mixed with water it will eat away at the mortar joints in between the flu tiles inside of your chimney.  Eroded mortar joints can lead to further water damage spreading to the home or in the event of a chimney fire, the fire may not stay contained inside of the chimney.