Knowing how to properly maintain your chimney can not only extend the life of your chimney and fireplace, but can increase heat output and protect your safety. Here are some tips to help you maintain a safe, properly working fireplace:
1. Your chimney, fireplace, and ventilation system should be checked and cleaned by a Chimney Service like US Chimney Long Island NY at least once a year. They will inspect the fireplace and bottom portion of the chimney for excess buildup and deposits that could start fires, and will also check the top of the chimney from the rooftop to make sure that the flashing and brickwork are in good condition. Depending on how often you use your fireplace, you may need to have inspections done more often.
2. Remember that even if you do not use your fireplace that much, you must still have yearly inspections. One problem people run into with little-used fireplaces is that small animals like birds and squirrels sometimes build nests in the top portions of chimneys. When they finally do use the fireplace, they not only risk harming the animals living there, but toxic gases will be pushed back into the home, posing a serious health risk.
3. Make sure to burn seasoned firewood. While all firewood contains some water content, seasoned wood has been allowed to dry out and has a smaller amount of water in it. Dry wood burns faster and produces a more powerful, cleaner heat. Green firewood wastes a lot of energy burning the moisture out of the logs, and also leaves acid deposits called creosote on the chimney walls.
4. Sometimes, creosote deposits are unavoidable. In the summer, they may cause a bad small to accumulate in your home. Having the chimney cleaned by a Chimney Service in Long Island NY will help with this, but it may not completely get rid of the problem. You can purchase chimney deodorizes to take care of this if it becomes an issue.
A common chimney problem is moisture that gets in from the outside, and which means that there are cracks or leaks somewhere within the shaft. A rusted firebox or damper, peeling or bubbling wallpaper or paint on the walls near the fireplace, and sweating or spilling masonry are all signs that you should call a Chimney Service in Long Island NY for help. Visit http://www.uschimney.com for more information.