Chimney Maintenance Tips You Can’t Avoid
A homeowner with a chimney should always be aware of the methods of proper chimney maintenance. If not properly looked after and maintained, chimneys could potentially end up becoming a hazard for the integrity of the property and the lives of the tenants.
Hence, in order to help you keep yourself, your family, and your house a safe and warm haven, here are some of the most useful and effective chimney maintenance tips below.
Get a Chimney Cap
A chimney cap can be a very effective accessory to help keep any unneeded and unbelonging objects out of the chimney space. A chimney cap will cover the hole from above and let the smoke escape through vents placed at its side, which are also covered with wire mesh at times.
This prevents any rain, snow, sleet, birds, rodents, or debris from entering your chimney and blocking it.
Maintain a Safe Perimeter
You need to keep a designated area around the chimney empty and open so as to prevent any haphazards, whether it is on the roof near the opening or inside your house near the fireplace. You should make sure there is at least a 15 feet of free space around your chimney, void of any branches or obstructions.
When it comes to the fireplace, make sure that you stow flammable items such as newspapers and clothing at a safe distance away from it. If you do not already have glass doors on your fireplace, it is a good idea to invest in a barrier.
Choose the Right Wood to Burn
To begin with, you should only be putting wood in your fireplace, and not any paper, wrappers, or other items that are not wood logs as they will only encourage the accumulation of residue in your chimney.
Make sure that the wood logs are dried and cured for up to 12 months and do not have any unnatural coverings such as paint on them. You can also refer to the manufacturer of your chimney and see what kind of wood they recommend be burned in the fireplace for efficient heating.
Close the Damper
Make sure that you always close the damper when you are not using the fireplace as an open damper will simply suck out all the warm air and it will be a waste of heat energy.
To make it more efficient, make sure you check your damper once in awhile and replace it if it is not sealing properly.
Think Slow and Small
A good practice is to add a little amount of wood slowly and burn it hot to build the fire with the damper completely open at the beginning. In this way, the smoke will not linger in the chimney and thus the creosote build up will reduce.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Regular inspections are essential to ensure that there are no significant external or internal damages in the chimney or the air vents in the house.
Conduct Regular Cleanings
Annual chimney sweeps and cleanups are necessary if you want to keep it thoroughly clean and prevent any house fires. The sweeper will remove the built up creosote and soot and reduce the risk of flammability of the residue.