Friday, January 27, 2017

Everything you Need to Know about Cleaning your Chimney and Fireplace

Before the cool, crisp days of autumn make cozy evenings in front of the fireplace irresistible, take time to make sure your fireplace is as safe as it is inviting. A 2016 report from the National Fire Protection Association states that a leading factor contributing to home heating fires was the failure to clean chimneys.

Not usually a DIY chore, it’s best to hire a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep to tackle this job, recommends Ashley Eldridge, education director for Chimney Safety Institute of America. That’s because cleaning and inspecting chimneys involves a lot more than just sweeping soot.

Everything you need to know about prepping your fireplace and chimney for the winter

How often should a chimney be inspected?

Every year. New wood-burning installations such as fireplaces or wood-burning stoves should be checked midway through the first heating season to confirm everything is working properly.

How often should a chimney be cleaned?

Cleaning should be done as necessary — normally when there’s a minimum 1/8-inch of deposit in the chimney. An annual inspection will determine if any sweeping or repairs are needed. In some cases, it’s necessary to sweep more than once a year, especially if the operator, the fuel or the venting system are not properly matched. 

Why get a chimney inspected and cleaned in the first place?
  1. The combustion process deposits an acidic material that weakens masonry or metal chimneys, causing them to deteriorate prematurely.
  2. Significant buildup of creosote, a flammable material resulting from incomplete combustion, may catch fire and spread to the attic and other areas of the home.
  3. If a chimney is used infrequently, critters and birds can collect and nest there, blocking the chimney. Leaves, twigs, pine cones and branches can obstruct the chimney, too.
  4. High winds or driving rain can also damage chimneys. CSIA recommends that, as a general rule, a chimney should have a rain cap to keep out animals and water as these are the primary reasons chimneys fail.

Read Full Article Here: Everything you Need to Know about Cleaning your Chimney and Fireplace

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