4 Tips for Home Chimney Care and Maintenance

Chimney Safety and Maintenance for HomeownersChimneys need regular care and maintenance in order to continue functioning properly. Whether you've recently bought a home with a chimney, or you've owned a home with a chimney for a long time, here's what you need to know about the care and maintenance of your fireplace and chimney. With proper care, your fireplace should continue functioning, offering warmth and beauty for years to come.

1. Get Regular Inspections and Cleanings

Chimneys need to be inspected and cleaned at least once each year. Homeowners should work with a licensed and experienced fireplace contractor to have inspections performed once annually. Even if the fireplace hasn't been used all year, it's still important to get an annual inspection because animals like birds can build nests in chimneys.

2. Burn Only Seasoned Wood

Seasoned wood contains less moisture than green wood. It burns cleanly, producing less smoke and pollutants. Not only does seasoned wood produce a better, hotter, more attractive fire, it's also better for chimneys and fireplaces.

Burning green firewood can lead to a build up of creosote in the chimney. Creosote is a sticky, tar-like substance that is highly flammable and can lead to chimney fires and house fires. Homeowners can prevent the build up of creosote from happening by burning wood that has been sitting in a dry location for at least 6 months.

Not all firewood dealers may be up front about whether their firewood is green or seasoned, so homeowners should also work with a reputable firewood dealer when purchasing firewood. Most fireplace contractors can recommend a good firewood dealer.

3. Never Leave the Fireplace Burning Unattended

A fire left burning unattended can lead to a house fire, injuries and even fatalities. Homeowners must stay in the room when the fire is burning.

Gas fireplaces can be turned off manually or may turn off on a timer. Wood-burning fireplaces must be allowed to burn out on their own. To encourage the fire to burn out, the homeowner can separate logs using fireplace tools.

4. Keep Flammable Things Away from the Fireplace

Homeowners can also protect their house and use their fireplace safely if they keep flammable items away from the hearth. Firewood, decorations and loose papers should all be kept off of the hearth. When the fire is burning, the screen that prevents sparks from flying out of the chimney should also be drawn shut to prevent a fire from occurring.

Be Safe - Maintain Your Fireplace

Fireplaces need proper maintenance in order to function properly. If you're a homeowner with a fireplace, work with a chimney contractor to take care of your fireplace. Maintaining your fireplace properly can help you take care of your home and boost its value if you ever decide to sell.

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