Chimney Cleaning

As winter inches closer it’s essential to start considering chimney care.

Throughout the year, during the times that the fireplace isn’t being used there often becomes a large amount of build-up. Having leftover soot from previous use, dust, bird nests and other blockages in your chimney is an extreme hazard. It risks having the fire getting out of control and if the build-up has been left for a long time, it could create cracks and holes, but without having the chimney cleaned you would never know that those issues are there.

Tips to properly care for your chimney

Preventing moisture

During winter, as water freezes and thaws it can seriously damage the structural integrity of your chimney. One way to prevent water damage is by having a chimney cap installed if your home doesn’t already have one. The chimney cap acts like an umbrella, stopping rain from falling down the chimney. It also has mesh around the sides to prevent animals, leaves and lawn debris from getting into the chimney and clogging it.

Only burning seasoned wood

Making sure that you are only burning seasoned wood will help the longevity of your fireplace. Seasoned wood is when the timber has been thoroughly dried for at least six months of the year. Seasoned wood burns more efficiently which means it produces more heat and less smoke. Unseasoned, or green, wood has a higher moisture content. It produces less heat and more smoke which also means more flammable creosote build-up in the chimney.

While it can also be easy to burn paper in the fireplace it is advised to avoid burning dyed or treated paper, such as wrapping paper because it contains chemicals that can be toxic and cause irritation to your lungs and eyes. The same rule also applies to painted or treated wood.

Not removing all of the ash

While the fireplace is in use you should regularly be removing the ash. However, making sure that you leave a few centimeters of ash at the bottom is important. These left over ashes will help retain heat for longer and helps create a long-lasting fire.

Before disposing of the ash it is crucial to let the ash sit in a metal container outdoors for a couple of days to ensure that there are no hidden hot embers in amongst the ash.

Annual chimney cleaningThe most effective chimney care tip is to have a professional conduct a thorough cleaning and inspection of your fireplace. This ensures that your chimney is the best shape possible and protect you from any hazards. See here for a chimney cleaner in your area.