Check Out The Chimney Maintenance Tips Read Further
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Chimney Cleaning Safety – How To Keep Your Family Safe
Do you love to light a fire in the fireplace when cool weather begins? The crackling logs, the beautiful flames, and the warmth all combine to make it a wonderful place to sit and relax. But, is that fire safe? Are there unknown problems just a few feet above that beautiful fire?
A dirty chimney is a serious danger to everyone living in your home. Here are a few reasons why you need to take chimney cleaning safety so seriously and what to avoid.
- A dirty chimney can cause carbon monoxide to gather in your home. If your chimney is partially obstructed carbon monoxide may escape into your room instead of racing up the chimney and outside. It is a good idea to have a carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector in rooms with a fireplace.
- Walk around the house. Every fall you should walk around your house and inspect the area around your chimney. Have trees branches started to grow near the chimney? Do you have climbing ivy that has climbed too high? These potential obstructions and fire hazards need to be cleared away.
- Have you noticed any cracked bricks or cracking mortar? These can be hard to detect, especially if they are in parts of the chimney you cannot easily observe. Cracked bricks or mortar can allow gases and heat to escape. A chimney service company will notice these cracks when they clean your chimney and give you advice on the proper repairs.
- Did you hear excessive crackling or loud pops the last time you used your fireplace? Chimney fires can be hard to detect even while you are siting right in front of your fireplace. Loud pops, loud cracking sounds, dense smoke, and an intense smell of heat are often signs of a chimney fire. Chimney fires can be avoided with annual inspections and cleaning.
- Squirrels are the gift that keep giving. If you have squirrels in your trees, your need for regular inspections goes up. Squirrels delight in building nests and storing things in cold chimneys during the summer months. Their collection of twigs, leaves, and nuts are fuel to start a fire.
- Using the right fuel is critical. Creosote is the enemy of your chimney. One of the biggest causes of creosote build-up is using wood that is not properly dried and seasoned. Make sure the wood you use is completely dry before using it. Regular cleaning to remove creosote improves fireplace safety.
- Never use lighter fluids. It is tempting to grab that bottle of charcoal lighter fluid to start that stubborn log, but do not do it. Lighter fluids can cause fires which flash out of your fireplace starting a fire in your home. They can also leave residue in the chimney which is easy to ignite. Only use approved fireplace lighters, not liquids.
- Do you wear a cap in the winter? Your chimney needs one year round. A chimney cap can prevent squirrels, birds, and blowing leaves from creating fire hazards in your chimney. You fireplace maintenance company can install a cap to help keep your chimney clean.
- Check your TV antenna. This one is not for everyone. If you have an antenna mounted to the side of your chimney, take some time to look at it carefully. Do you notice any discoloration or warping? If so, this could mean your chimney is putting out too much heat, or that a chimney fire occurred. Call and schedule an chimney cleaning safety inspection.
- Watch for smoke. When you start that first fire of the year, head outside and do an inspection of your chimney. Do you notice any smoke escaping between bricks? If you do, it is recommended you extinguish the fire and schedule an inspection. This usually indicates you have broken bricks or mortar.
Most of these suggestions are good common sense, but are easy to forget each year. If you schedule a yearly chimney cleaning safety inspection and cleaning of your chimney you will avoid nearly all of these problems. Make sure you work with a company who has a reputation of providing great service. Your fireplace and chimney can bring you great joy when maintained properly, or be a great danger when ignored