Fall is just around the corner, and if you are like us, you are looking forward to cooler weather, sweaters, and all things pumpkin spice. If you have a fireplace in your home, you are also awaiting that first night of burning a few logs in the fireplace. Nothing beats the all-natural heat and beautiful ambiance of a fireplace on a chilly fall night or a cold winter day.
However, there are a few things to do before lighting that first log of the season. Fall is the time to make sure your chimney is clean and safe. Let’s look at a few things to consider before warming your toes next to the fire this year.
The #1 danger to a fireplace and your home is creosote buildup. Any time you burn wood, creosote is released. It is a dark black substance that adheres to and builds up on the inside of your chimney walls. Creosote is also extremely flammable and can lead to very destructive fires in your home. Therefore, it is crucial you have your chimney cleaned every year to avoid a chimney fire or worse!
Another essential step is to ensure your chimney is free of obstructions. These include debris such as twigs. You may also encounter bird nests. All of these could catch fire from a floating ember. If you do not have a chimney cage on your chimney, now is a good time to consider installing one.
Speaking of the chimney cage, a very important component of your chimney is what you have at the top. The chimney cap prevents water and large debris from entering your chimney. A screen cage can be installed as an additional layer of protection to keep out smaller debris and animals. It can also prevent embers from exiting your chimney and landing somewhere that could cause a fire.
Ensuring your chimney flue is working properly is critical before lighting a fire. The worst thing you can have is a flue that is stuck closed or blocked. This will lead to gases and smoke filling your home quickly. This is also an ideal time to install a carbon monoxide detector in the same room as your fireplace. If you already have one, test it to make sure it is working.
An annual chimney inspection is a must. Checking for structural damage or aging goes a long way to ensure your chimney is prepared for use. During an inspection, your contractor will look for loose bricks, cracked and crumbling mortar, and other issues that could weaken the structure of your chimney. They will also check the cap to ensure it is sound and in good condition.
Making sure your chimney is clear and in good condition and structurally sound every year is one of the best things you can do to ensure the safety of your home. Because of how important this is, you want to work with a contractor you can trust. Bealing Roofing and Exteriors, LLC knows chimneys! From cap to foundation, we can make sure your chimney is ready to go for your next wood-burning season.