How to Stay Ahead of Your Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance
Staying ahead of fireplace and chimney maintenance can keep your family safer while saving you money, and we have the how-to’s for you. With these easy steps, you can have peace of mind and rest assured that you’ve done your due diligence to prevent hazards associated with using a wood-burning fireplace. Among households in which chimney maintenance is neglected, many thousands of homes are damaged or destroyed by hazardous chimney fires. Read on to learn easy steps for staying ahead of fireplace and chimney maintenance.
Keep Up With Ash Removal
Chimneys need to have soot, creosote, and ashy materials removed by a chimney sweep with industry tools; but the fireplace is your domain for ash removal. As you are using your fireplace in winter, the amount of ashes on the floor of your firepit gradually increases. Leave two inches of ash at the bottom as a way of improving heat output but remove some ashes when more than that have built up. When ashes aren’t removed at all, the efficiency of the fireplace will decline due to a lack of sufficient air.
Ash removal is a responsibility that can never be taken lightly. Many devasting fires have occurred because of the careless handling of fireplace ashes. First, wait until at least 48 hours has passed since the last fire to ensure that unseen embers have cooled off. Use your fireplace shovel or a similar piece of equipment to remove ashes and place them in a metal container with a lid. Place the bucket/container of ashes outside the home on a non-combustible surface away from combustible materials. Do not pour or place ashes into a trash receptacle until several more days have passed, to remove the possibility that a fire will unexpectedly ignite.
During the Off-Season
When you are closing your fireplace for the winter, completely remove the ashes from your fireplace. This is important because ashes contain acidic materials and could damage the fireplace masonry over time, especially if any type of moisture becomes mixed with the ashes. Once the ashes have been removed, you can use your vacuum cleaner to dispose of the remaining ashes.
Schedule Chimney Cleaning and Chimney Inspection
Contact the trusted chimney sweep experts in your area at Chimney Specialists Inc. if you live in any of our service areas, which include Boscobel WI, Dodgeville WI, Mineral Point WI, Fennimore WI, Madison WI, Middleton WI, Platteville WI, Prairie Du Chien WI, Richland Center WI, Spring Green WI, Mt Horeb WI, and Dubuque IA.
Chimney inspections should be scheduled every year, according to all major fire safety organizations in the US, including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Our certified chimney sweeps at Chimney Specialists Inc. can spot early signs of chimney damage and make recommendations for repairs that could save you significant money on the overall costs of chimney maintenance and repair.
Chimney cleaning is also essential for the optimal operation of your fireplace and for home fire safety. Dirty fireplaces are the primary cause of home structure fires that started in the chimney. The NFPA recommends fireplace cleaning at least once per year.
You may recognize chimney problems before your chimney sweep does because they occur between chimney inspections. The following are things to look for without having to climb onto your roof:
- Damaged bricks or missing mortar in your firepit
- White staining on your chimney, which is called “efflorescence”
- Bits of broken masonry around your chimney or on the ground below
- The deteriorating mortar between the masonry
- Look in your attic for any signs of an undetected chimney leak
We highly recommend leaving it to chimney sweeps to climb onto your roof because falls are a leading cause of death in several industries. At Chimney Specialists, Inc. we take necessary precautions to prevent falls.
Contact us at Chimney Specialists Inc. for help staying ahead of fireplace and chimney maintenance. We also offer sales and installation for quality hearth appliances. You can visit our showroom at a location below or call one of the numbers listed, as follows:
Chimney Specialists Inc.
869 Main Street, Highland, WI
Dubuque Fireplace & Patio
925 Century Drive, Dubuque, Iowa