How to Prep Your Fireplace for the Cold Season
As the start of a new season of cold weather arrives, the first thought for using your fireplace should be: Safety. No matter how anxious you may be to enjoy the charming ambiance or get energy-saving benefits started (if you have a fireplace insert), it is essential to do some fireplace prep. The following are some tips to make sure your fireplace and chimney are safe and ready to use.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection
Chimneys are more complex than many homeowners realize. According to leading fire safety experts, it is important to have a chimney inspection every year. Many different things can go wrong, and moisture is the number one cause of chimney damage. A chimney in need of repair or attention can be dangerous, and it isn’t likely to operate properly. Schedule an inspection with a CSIA-Certified chimney sweep, to ensure that the technician has the training and experience necessary to conduct a meaningful inspection.
Make Needed Masonry Repairs
Masonry chimneys are exposed to harsh elements, and moisture needs to be kept out. When mortar that holds masonry together begins to deteriorate, for instance, moisture can get in. If there is water in the masonry, freeze and thaw cycles cause the water to expand and contract. The brick begins to deteriorate and crumble, and you can see piles of debris around the chimney stack. The entire structure could begin to lean. Make needed repairs as soon as possible. It will make your chimney safer and will likely save you money. The longer such problems are neglected, the more extensive the damage and more expensive the fix.
Have a Chimney Cap Installed
If there isn’t already a chimney cap at the top of your chimney, it’s important to have one installed. These are essential appliances. They keep out rain. To prevent animals and birds from getting inside your chimney, choose a style that includes mesh. The mesh also serves as a spark guard, to stop hot embers from escaping and potentially starting a fire on your roof.
Replace the Chimney Liner, if Needed
The chimney liner must be completely free of damage. If there is even the tiniest of cracks in a chimney flue, combustible parts of the home can be exposed to extremely hot temperatures that lead to a dangerous house fire. In addition, toxic fumes can enter the home, including deadly carbon monoxide. Referred to as the “Silent Killer,” carbon monoxide is invisible, odorless, and tasteless.
Ensure there are No Chimney Obstructions
A build-up of creosote in the chimney can cause the chimney to be obstructed, which will cause smoke to go into the home instead of outside through the chimney. There are other types of debris that can cause blockage in chimneys, as well. A percentage of the home fires that occur each year are caused by obstructions in a poorly maintained chimney.
Schedule Chimney Cleaning
Before the start of a new burn season, it’s best to have the creosote removed from your chimney, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends chimney cleaning once the creosote is at least 1/8” thick in the flue.
Professional Chimney Sweeps
Give Chimney Saver Solutions a call, to schedule chimney maintenance, chimney cleaning, or a chimney inspection anywhere in on near Richmond VA and the surrounding area. It’s the most respected full-service chimney company in the region. Make sure your chimney is ready for the cold season by calling Chimney Saver Solutions today at 804-440-5000.