4 Ways To Maintain A Fireplace And Chimney

Taking steps to maintain your fireplace is not just about cleanliness. An improperly maintained fireplace can put you and your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. Here are some tips for keeping your fireplace safely operating. 

Install a Chimney Cap

It is not impossible for squirrels, birds, snow, and other elements to get inside your chimney. You need to have a cap installed over the top of the chimney. The cap should have mesh sides that prevent it from coming up. 

If you already have a chimney cap installed, inspect it to determine if it is in good condition. If not, have it replaced. 

Hire a Chimney Sweeper

The inside of your chimney can become coated with soot, which can eventually lead to a fire. One of the most important ways you can ensure the safety of your fireplace is to hire a chimney sweeper. 

The chimney sweeper can not only remove the soot, but also inspect it for damage. Ideally, you should have the cleaning performed before summer. In the summer time, a buildup of humidity can react with substances in the chimney and cause damage to its structure. 

Clean Ash from the Grate

As you use the fireplace, ash starts to accumulate in the bottom. At some point, the ash will reach the grate and can lead to problems with airflow. The reduction in airflow can make it harder to maintain a good fire and even increase the chances of harmful substances releasing into the air. 

To avoid ash-related problems, clean the ashes periodically. If the ashes are touching the bottom of the grate, it is time to clean them out. 

Choose the Right Firewood

Choosing the right firewood is also part of maintaining your fireplace and chimney. The wrong firewood can lead to more smoke and product toxic fumes. To avoid this issue, there are certain things you should look for in wood. 

For instance, dry wood usually produces less smoke and offers a cleaner burn. By contrast, wood that has been treated can clog the flue and expose your family to toxic fumes. If someone in your home has a breathing disorder, this could prove to be especially harmful to him or her. 

The chimney sweeper can provide you with additional tips for maintaining your fireplace that are specific to the particular type you have. Scheduling an annual cleaning and inspection with a chimney sweeper like Country Corner Chimney Sweeps can help you avoid problems with your fireplace and its components.