Learn How to Keep Your Chimney Safe This Fall
Now that the weather is beginning to cool, chimneys are ready to be lit. Warm and cozy evenings are bliss to everyone when you’re in the comfort of your own home but making sure your key comfort is safe for fire prevention will allow you to enjoy the fireplace when the time comes. From minimizing creosote build-up to scheduling inspections, chimney preparation is a key component to getting your home prepped for the cozy fireplace memories.
Preparing the Fireplace (regular and gas)
It’s not everyone’s favorite task to clean a fireplace, but it’s the first and most important step of getting your fireplace ready for the fall. Make sure to go outside of your home and take a look at the outside of your chimney to ensure that there isn’t any damage to the bricks, no cracks, loose bricks or gaping holes.
After that, make your way inside to clean the interior with a water and vinegar mixture or any fireplace-specific cleaning solution. Go ahead and grab a mask and use a vacuum afterwards to help you remove build up around your fireplace.
Hire a Professional for Inspection
Once you’ve prepared your fireplace for the fall, it’s better to be safe than sorry and hire a professional to come give your fireplace the final “OK” to fire it up. Some things that a professional may be able to catch that a homeowner may miss includes structural damage, broken or soon-to-break flues, and flues that aren’t quite closing all the way.
If you have a gas-burning fireplace, make sure to get an inspection at least every other year to ensure that it’s thoroughly cleaned. Having a professional find and prevent these issues can be the difference between a pumpkin-spiced sweet holiday or a visit from a team of firefighters.
Choosing the Right Wood
While it’s true that most wood will burn in a fireplace, choosing the right wood is important, not only for enjoyment, but for the health of your fire place.
- Oak – Is considered the best wood to burn, for lasting longer as well as burns more evenly and hotter. However, to burn well, oak needs to be seasoned well and properly for at least a year after cutting.
- Maple – Like oak, it is a great choice since it burns evenly and and slowly, creating less buildup and mess. You can use Red Maple, Sugar, or Hard Maple for great results.
- Birch – Birch gives off a beautiful flame, but it burns very quickly and can cause a larger buildup in your chimney in a shorter timeframe.
Remember, regardless of the type of wood you’re using, schedule to have your chimney cleaned before it gets too cold out so it is ready to go before the first fire of the season.
In the event that you suffer a fire in your local family home or community, give us a call.