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Fall chimney maintenance and proper cleaning are key steps to keeping your family safe and warm as the temperatures drop. Neglected chimneys accumulate creosote, a combustible byproduct of charred wood, along their walls. Add to that a high internal flue temperature and you’ve got a potentially dangerous chimney fire on your hands.
The best way to avoid a house fire caused by the fireplace or chimney is to hire US chimney sweep to inspect for cracks and loose bricks. We can also clean your chimney. Chimney inspections are typically broken down into three categories.
Level 1 is a standard, annual inspection for chimneys that have no major changes to investigate. The chimney inspector will examine the interior and exterior, as well as the chimney connection. The general soundness of the chimney will be examined, and any obstructions will be noted.
Level 2 is an inspection that follows a change in fuel type or changes to the shape or materials in the flue.
Level 3 is rare. These inspections are conducted when a hazard is suspected. Typically, part of the building or chimney is removed to examine the chimney thoroughly.
Once your chimney gets the all-clear, you should follow some basic safety tactics when it comes to your chimney and the vicinity of the fireplace or woodstove:
• Keep the area in front of the fireplace clear of paper and debris. It can be tempting during the holidays to place decorations close to the fireplace, but keep them at a safe distance.
• If your fireplace doesn’t have a glass door, use a wire mesh screen.
• Use seasoned hardwoods that have been split for six months to a year. “Green” wood creates more creosote. Don’t burn your Christmas tree (pine creates more creosote) or be tempted to throw wrapping paper, boxes, or trash into the fireplace.
• Keep the area near the chimney clear. If you have trees that hang over the house near the chimney, make sure branches and leaves are at least 15 feet away.
• Cap your chimney. A top that has wire mesh along the sides will keep out rain and snow, birds, and other critters that might be running around on the roof.
• Think small. If you try to burn too much wood, the chimney can crack and you run the risk of creosote build-up. Burn wood on a grate placed near the back of the fireplace.
Like fire, carbon monoxide can be a deadly threat. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible toxic gas that kills about 400 people per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and sickens many more.
While carbon monoxide poisoning can result from poorly functioning home appliances and heating systems, it can also come from poorly maintained chimneys. The chimney and chimney connector serve as a furnace’s exhaust system. If debris is blocking the chimney, carbon monoxide can accumulate inside the house.Perhaps the most important rule of all when it comes to fall chimney maintenance is to install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inside and outside of bedrooms. Replace the batteries each season and test the detectors regularly. If the detector is more than 10 years old, replace it.
One thing most people don’t think about in the summer is getting their chimney cleaned. It just doesn’t seem to be that important among vacation time and keeping the kids busy. However, it is the best time of the year to get this chore done and out of the way and here are three reasons why.
1. No wait time, you are first in line to have your chimney swept.
2. The early bird gets the discount – Check out our Summer Special. http://uschimney.com/coupons/
3. Sweeping early reduces odors.
The take away is there are some very good reasons to get your chimney cleaned during the summer months. Why don’t you make that call and just get this one chore out of the way right now.
Just because summer is coming, does not mean you do not need to maintain your chimney
Timing Is Everything
Summer is the time of year when we get the heaviest rain storms. A costly flood can be preventable if minor cracks or repairs are caught early enough.
Timing a chimney sweep for summer will help ensure you can beat the rush on chimney sweep services that can occur during the first cold snap of fall. It may become more difficult to schedule a timely chimney service once every home on your street decides they need one at the same time.
Why Should I Get My Chimney Swept?
Getting your chimney routinely swept is important because a layer of smoke residue called creosote begins to build up on the surfaces inside your chimney as you burn wood in the fireplace. Creosote is highly flammable and can cause a full-out chimney fire if too much of it builds up in your chimney.
Having your chimney swept regularly can also extend the life of your flue system. Since creosote and soot contain corrosive chemicals, they can combine with moisture buildup to prematurely corrode your flue system. Routine chimney sweeps can help mitigate this risk.
Don’t Ignore Chimney Cracks
Water running down the flue or leaks in the attic are telltale signs that your chimney may have underlying problems. While some may try to ignore the situation, doing so can lead to further damage.
While chimneys come in all shapes and sizes, the vast majority of even new chimneys are still made the old fashioned way, out of brick and mortar masonry. While chimney design and safety have come a long way, the fundamentals of chimney construction have changed little in the past few centuries. And over time, the porous brick and mortar material will absorb water, which degrades masonry. Ensuring that your chimney is protected against the elements is one of the best things you can do for your home
Contact us today (516) 605-1074