CHIMNEY MAINTENANCE: BASIC GUIDELINES
When it comes to taking care of your fireplace and chimney, there are plenty of do’s and don’ts that you should know about. But what about the basics of proper chimney upkeep? While we suggest that you always stick with a professional chimney sweep, Ageless Chimney also thinks it is a good idea to have some of your own knowledge on hand. Read on for some tips about chimney cleaning and chimney upkeep that you can practice to avoid costly chimney repairs!
What Type of Chimney do You Have?
Not all chimneys are created equal! Being aware of what type of chimney you have will help you when you are trying to keep your chimney and fireplace working their best. There are three main types of chimneys. They are:
- Single-Walled Metal: These are usually found in older homes and look like a thin metal pipe that sticks up from the roof. They also have a round top.
- Masonry: Masonry chimneys are considered to be the safest for the home. Masonry chimneys are standard brick and come with a liner pre-installed to make sure all smoke is vented properly.
- Prefabricated Metal: These are chimneys that are made out of metal and are usually found in commercial buildings.
Check Your Flue Regularly
The flue is the venting system for your chimney. It is basically a pipe found on the interior of your chimney liner that allows smoke and the other gasses that build up during the course of the fire to safely exit your home. It is very important that you check it regularly. If your room gets a bit too smoky during a fire, you may need to get your flue cleared. You should also make sure that your flue is always open prior to starting a fire.
Make Sure You Have a Chimney Liner
Chimney liners protect your home from the heat and flammable materials produced by a fire. In unlined chimneys, the heat of a fire can rise too quickly and cause nearby belongings to catch flame. Liners provide an extra barrier.
If you plan to purchase a chimney liner, size is the most important element. A properly-sized liner will effectively allow combustible materials to safely exit your home. However if it is too large or small, there is a greater chance for a buildup of carbon monoxide.
Put a Cap On Your Chimney
One of the easiest, and affordable, elements to your chimney maintenance is a chimney cap. Chimney caps are vented pieces of metal that sit inside the top of your chimney and prevent unwanted materials from coming inside your fireplace, while still letting the smoke escape. Chimney caps also keep heavy rains from seeping down inside your chimney and potentially causing leaks. They are also great for keeping animals from nesting inside your fireplace during the colder months.
As always when hiring for a job, you want to make sure that your chimney sweep comes with glowing references. However, you’ll also want to check that he or she carries the proper insurance. Doing so could save you from financial responsibility in the event of a fall or other work-related accident.
Clear Your Hearth Regularly
It is always a good idea to keep your hearth clean, but not just for aesthetic reasons. Before you decide to light a nice warm fire, be sure to move any valuable items from the mantle. Fire can be unpredictable, so it is smart to clear the hearth of anything that could light on fire. This also prevents and unwanted debris going up into the chimney.
Buy The Right Detectors
Sometimes you may not now if there is unwanted debris or smoke coming into your home from the chimney. One of the best things you can do to keep informed of any toxic smoke is to have your home equipped with proper smoke detectors. Always be sure that you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed. While having a fire going is very pleasant, the safety of you and your loved ones is paramount!
Ageless Chimney is considered one of the best chimney companies Long Island has to offer. Why? Because we care about the warmth and safety of your home. If you would like any more tips on routine chimney maintenance, call us for a free estimate today!