Did you know that fireplaces and chimneys play a part in 42% of all home-heating fires? The colder months are fast approaching, and natural gas prices can add hundreds of dollars to heating bills. For this reason, many homeowners will be using their wood-burning fireplaces this fall. As the leading provider of brick pointing in Philadelphia, we’ve provided this video to advise homeowners of some essential tips to help prepare their fireplace area for fall conditions:
Hire a Chimney Sweep
Before you light the first fire of the season, schedule an inspection with a professional, certified chimney sweep. These experts can make sure that all accumulated creosote deposits have been removed, helping to avoid the possibility of a fire. Professionals will check the seals on all the gaskets to prevent air leakage. They can also replace any broken brickwork that could cause damage and test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Check for Additional Damage and Cap the Chimney
On top of thoroughly cleaning your chimney and fireplace, chimney sweeps should inspect the structure for any loose bricks, cracks, or missing mortar. The chimney liners should be checked for deterioration. And a cap should be fitted at the top of the chimney. Caps have wire-mesh sides covers that stop rain, squirrels, birds, and debris from entering your home. If your cap is missing or damaged, we recommend getting it replaced.
Burn Seasonal Hardwoods and Don’t Overload the Chimney
Use dense woods, like oak, that has been split and stored in dry environments for at least six months. Greener wood and resinous softwoods such as pine will produce lots of creosote. Creosote is a flammable by-product of the combustion process that can quickly build up in the chimney. Smaller fires create less smoke and less creosote buildup. Also, fires that are too hot or large can cause damage to the structural integrity of a chimney.
Build the Fire Correctly
Be sure to place logs near the rear of the fireplace on top of a metal grate, Also, use kindling instead of flammable liquids to get the fire started.
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