A Safety Tip: Schedule your Chimney Cleaning and Inspection Without Delay
There is one occasion in which preventative maintenance could definitely be a matter of life and death, and that’s when it comes to cleaning your chimney. Experts say that the importance of regular chimney cleaning can’t be underestimated. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the authority on fire safety, conducted a five-year study and discovered that the leading cause of home heating fires was a failure to clean solid-fueled heating equipment such as fireplaces and wood burning stoves – and the chief problem in particular was dangerous creosote buildup in chimneys.
Your chimney plays a very important role. Actually, both the chimney and the flue carry the smoke away from the fireplace and outside of your home. When your chimney is clean, the fireplace functions more efficiently and the hazardous buildup of flammable creosote is prevented.
The winter season has already been felt in northern parts of the U.S., since some states have already experienced snowfall. Wherever you are, if you have a fireplace, now is the best time to get your chimney cleaned, if you haven’t done it already.
Think of all the people in your area that have fireplaces. All of them, like you, need to prepare for a new season of warm, toasty home fires. Many homeowners wait until the cold has already arrived, which means that professional chimney sweeps are inundated all at once with calls. The sooner you schedule your appointment, the more likely your chimney and fireplace will be ready for a fire when the cold weather comes in full force.
And did you know that the cold weather could possibly interfere with work you may need to have done on your chimney? When your chimney sweep cleans and inspects your chimney, a need for chimney repair could be discovered. And here’s where the problem comes in: Masonry materials will freeze, if winter has arrived in full force. Any repair work that may be needed on your chimney could delay your use of the fireplace.
The number one reason a chimney cleaning is needed, as mentioned, is because of creosote. Anytime you burn logs, there is probably some buildup of creosote in the chimney, as a result. But did you know that burning optimal firewood minimizes that amount of creosote in your chimney? It’s advisable to burn properly seasoned logs, which means that they have been adequately dried out and have a low moisture content.
A fireplace is not intended to be used for burning such things as leaves from your yard, newspapers, or treated wood that is used for construction. It’s dangerous to burn things other than dry logs; and other materials produce more creosote, as well.
Creosote can corrode your chimney and cause chimney fires. The flue liner can become corroded and mortar joints can be worn away because of creosote.
It’s possible that the wire mesh screen around your chimney cap is coated with soot from last winter’s fires. Soot can also corrode the mesh and allow animals or birds to enter your chimney.
Even if you don’t feel that you used your fireplace enough last winter to warrant a cleaning, an inspection could reveal that your flue lining is cracked, which could lead to a house fire.
Don’t hesitate to schedule your annual fireplace maintenance – schedule your cleaning as soon as possible.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110