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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Chimney Inspection

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

An inspector doing a chimney inspection. An inspector doing a chimney inspection.

Nothing is more comforting on a cold day than lighting your fireplace. A fireplace has a wonderful ambience that cannot be matched by a furnace. The beautiful colors of the flames, the smell, and the feeling of the heat is enjoyable. But there is a lot of responsibility when it comes to owning a fireplace. You need to have periodic inspections, cleaning, and more. Here are some things you should do before winter.

Hire a Chimney Sweep:

The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) recommends that all chimneys get swept at least once a year. Its best to find a certified sweep in your area to make sure it its done properly.

Check for Damage:

When you have your chimney swept, you should also request an inspection. They should look for cracks, loose bricks, or missing mortar. The chimney liners should be checked also for cracking or deterioration.

Cap the Chimney:

During the inspection looking at the chimney cap is important too. The cap helps keep out the rain, birds, squirrels, and debris from entering. If there is damage, or it is missing, make sure it is fixed or replaced.

Burn Seasoned Hardwood:

“Green” wood and certain soft woods like pine produce more creosote, a flammable byproduct of combustion that build up in the chimney. Excessive creosote buildup can cause a chimney fire. You want to burn dense hardwoods, like oak, if they are available. Before using any wood for fire, split it and store it in a high and dry place for at least six months.

Don’t Overload:

Keep your fire small. Small fire creates less smoke, and creosote that can build on the walls of your fire place. Also, if your fire gets toolarge, it can get too hot and crack the walls of your chimney.

Build it Right:

When starting a fire, start with kindling instead of flammable liquids. Place the logs towards the back, and on a metal grate.

Use a Spark Guard:

It is best if a fireplace has a glass or mesh door. This will help any shooting embers from coming out and landing on your floor. Adding a fire screen outside the fireplace creates an additional layer of protection against sparks and popping embers.

If you experience a mishap with your chimney or fireplace, prompt cleanup of the resulting smoke damage is important. Call SERVPRO of Casper for a free assessment.

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