Chimneys are designed for your warmth in the colder days of the month. While you feel this great comfort and get relaxation from the advantages of a chimney, you should also keep in your top priority, its safety, and sanitary for you and your family’s health and well-being. After all, if you do not take care of something so advantageous to you, it might end up ruining you.
Steps for a chimney inspection and cleaning
- Steps for a chimney inspection and cleaning
- Put a cap on it
Check your fireplace regularly
Before the temperature of your house begins to drop, there are many things that you should do to double-check if your chimney is with safety and efficiency. With the recommendation of the National Fire Protection Association strongly suggests that chimneys should be swept twice in a year, before the winter season begins, to eradicate the debris and soot. You can see an official chimney sweeping equipment from the Chimney Safety Institute of America, and you should also double-check yourself with the familiarity of how to work with a fireplace before starting the fire on the chimney of your house.
Check your chimney for cracks
Before setting out a fire, check the status of the chimney structure. Look if it has cracks, missing mortar, and loose bricks. Check the liner of your chimney if there are deteriorating signs. The cracks and spall of the walls of the chimney from the interior to the outside designs will tell you that there is a deteriorating sign on your chimney, so that is why you should call an expert to look at it.
Put a cap on it
Place a wire-mesh lid to serve as the cover of your chimney for the safety of the animals that might find themselves lost in the structure like birds and squirrels and it will also serve as a protection from rain and other debris such as branches, bird poop, dirt from getting inside your house. You do not want any dead animal coming down your chimney while devising on the way to clean it.
Always check the damper
The damper is a structure with a movable plate that is placed on the top of the chimney, right before the construction of the flue. You should always double-check if it is working efficiently. The chimney’s damper should not have any solid matter blocking it from its function of the open and close system. You should know this by how your fireplace works.
Accumulation of creosote
Always check if there is an accumulation of creosote. This is a chemical amount of carbon that has to build-up from the burning of fossil fuel, wood, or tar. The chemical compound can stay in your chimney, and you might not have any idea outside of that structure. If the creosote is removed from its place, it becomes a thick coat of matter stuck inside of your flue and chimney. Most chimney structures start their fire in the smoke chamber or shelf region, so it is vital to regularly sanitize that area. The creosote chemical has an ignition point at 451 degrees F, so once it is burned, it will greatly expand and create a foam-like sealant that builds up to 2000 degrees F at most and in a matter of seconds.
Cut the branches from your nearby trees
Double-check if they are lying low on your chimneys because it might start a fire and might cause a ruckus on your town. It also restricts the flow of air in and out of your chimney.
Remove the ashes
Never forget to clean out the ashes formed by the burned woods from your chimney. This is another vital procedure to know how your chimney works. Double-check if all of the ashes formed on your chimney are clearly cleaned out of the firebox before you put another set of firewood. Sweep it with a broomstick or let a vacuum clean it, especially the cold ashes and throw them outside. As you may already know, these ashes are made up of carbon that might cause respiratory problems to you if not cleaned properly. Always be on the guard of the coals that remained with heat for three days because it is a potential fire hazard if these coals made contact with materials that can easily burn, such as paper, cloth, or sanitary products.
Set up a fireplace guard
This will prevent hot flakes of wood from flying out of the chimney. This is preferable with the use of metal mesh screen or a door chimney made of glass. Never burn wood on your chimney without having a guard.
Check the smoke alarms
Check your alarms if they are working properly. Double-check if the smoke from your chimney and the carbon monoxide detecting system of your house is working. 10. Test the chimney’s function by lighting pieces of wood. Light it with every angle. If the smoke does not exist in an upward direction and backfires to your room, call the professionals immediately.
Ventilate the room
The problems may be a closed damper, a creosote accumulation, and debris on your chimney. Never forget to open a window so that the air will circulate inside your house and will have enough air supply that will make the smoke exit vertically throughout the chimney.
Let the air circulate. Turn on ceiling fans on the low level to balance the warm air inside your home space. Along with these tips, never clean your chimney on your own. This will put you in more danger. Always let the professional chimney cleaners do it for you.
Have a good wood to set your fire. Choose a wood that is dense like an oak. The wood should be stored in a high, dry spot for six months. Pinewoods is not suitable for wood burning for chimneys because they produce more creosote or any green woods that you can think of.
Always keep the fire small
If it is in a small size, it will not create a big amount of smoke and creosote. Use kindling to set off the fire and not a flammable chemical. Put the wood on the rear end of the chimney.
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