Preparing your chimney for heavy winter use
Winter is coming but the cold weather already is here. With the chilly temperatures at night, more people are turning to their fireplaces to heat up the house at night. What is better than a warm fire in the fireplace?
Unfortunately, as a result, chimney fires have become more and more common around the country. Properly maintained chimneys from a fireplace or wood stove can help prevent a costly mistake.
It is important to correctly clean out chimneys. If not done properly, it could cause chimney fires.
Here are some tips for avoiding a chimney fire:
- Education – Understanding what causes a chimney fire is your best defense. Creosote, a flaky or tar-like residue which forms on the inside of your chimney, is the most common cause of a chimney fire. Creosote is formed by the condensation from cooled wood smoke. It is highly flammable and can catch fire very easily. Other causes of chimney fires include animals, animal debris and cracks in the chimney flue tiles.
- Limiting creosote buildup – The following will minimize creosote buildup: using seasoned wood rather than unseasoned and making small, hot fires that burn out completely. Also, a chimney in the center of a home (rather than on the side) will have less creosote buildup because the home will warm the outside of the chimney.
- Burn firewood only – Items other than firewood (newspaper, cardboard boxes, food packaging) will cause burning residue to rise up through the chimney and can spark creosote into a fire. Firewood is the safest thing to burn.
- Install a stainless steel chimney cap – This will prevent small animals and birds from entering your chimney to make homes.
- Get your chimney swept often – You can sweep your chimney yourself but you should get a professional to inspect it and clean it on a regular basis. This will help you locate cracked flue tiles as well as eliminate the risk of a fire being started by a big buildup of creosote.
Protect your home by getting your chimney cleaned today. If you have had a chimney fire which has resulted in damage of your roof of your home, do not hesitate to call us today at (816) 606-7393 or contact us here.