The cold winter months are upon us and curling up by a nice cozy fire might be in the near future for many. Before you go gather wood and building a fire make sure to follow this checklist to ensure that your fireplace is safe for use.
It is recommended that all homeowners have their chimneys inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep. Having your chimney inspected will ensure that there are not potential health and safety hazards.
Always inspect your chimney cap. If your chimney cap has been damaged it can allow moisture, animals and debris to enter your flue.
If the flashing around the chimney appears to be warped or bent it could be allowing moisture and water to enter the chimney. Long term damage caused by this could include deterioration and leakage.
Trim Tree Branches-
Ensure that there are no tree branches that could potentially damage the chimney during a storm and/or cause a fire.
Repair Missing Bricks, Chipped Bricks and Mortar-
Find them. Fix them. J
Clean the Flue-
Creosote is accumulated by burning fires and is the leading cause of chimney fires. Having your chimney inspected and cleaning should eliminate any creosote buildup.
Remove Leftover Ash-
A thin layer of ash can assist with starting a fire, but a large amount of ash will choke your fire out from the moisture content.
Make sure that the damper is in good working order and form a tight seal when shut. If the damper doesn’t close properly and form a tight seal it will allow outside air to mix with heated air and increase your energy cost significantly.
Install Batteries in Smoke Alarms/Detectors-
If you aren’t changing the batteries in your smoke detector out during daylight savings time, make sure that they are changed before beginning to build fires.
Be sure to store your fire wood in a ventilated area, off of the ground and away from exposure to water or moisture.
Stay warm friends! Call our office if you have any questions.