Chimney Maintenance

 

Nothing beats the ambiance and warmth of a fire in your fireplace when the nights get chilly. Yet, your chimney may give you more than you bargained for if it's not properly maintained each year.

Before you light the first fire log of the season, each chimney in your house should be inspected and cleaned by a qualified fireplace cleaning/repair company. Annual cleaning is recommended to remove the accumulation of creosote within stovepipes and chimneys; if creosote is not removed regularly the deposits may ignite, causing a chimney fire. Chemical chimney cleaners are generally not effective in removing these creosote deposits.

Causes of Creosote Build-up:

  1. Slow, smoldering, smoky fires
  2. Cool surfaces (i.e., the exterior of chimneys)
  3. Burning unseasoned wood

To avoid a chimney fire, the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends:

  1. Use seasoned woods only (dryness is more important than hard wood versus soft wood considerations)
  2. Build smaller, hotter fires that burn more completely and produce less smoke
  3. Never burn cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, trash or Christmas trees; these can spark a chimney fire.
  4. Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures where wood stoves are in use, so you can adjust burning practices as needed.
  5. Have the chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis.

For further information about chimney maintenance, click on the following links: