The safety of your home is dependent on your fireplace so you must ensure that it is in good condition. Besides keeping everyone in the house safe and comfortable, regular chimney maintenance can also lower your electricity bills. In the absence of proper care, you can get exposed to various pathogens and impurities that can affect your health.
Carbon monoxide is one of the biggest pollutants that fireplaces leak into our homes. Prolonged exposure to these harmful particles can lead to severe health issues down the line. To avoid this, you should get your chimney inspected and serviced at least twice a year. With that in mind, here are some tips that can help you keep your chimney in good shape.
A dirty chimney can make you and your family sick. Creosote, or the black tar-like substance that comes from the smoke of burning wood can be harmful to humans. Creosote builds up over time inside your chimney and can cause skin cancer and lung-related health issues. Not only are creosotes dangerous to your health, they can also lead to fire hazards. You should clean your chimney at least once every few months to prevent creosote build-up.
Use Seasoned Wood
The type of wood you use can affect your fireplace’s overall function. Yes, all wood can be used as a fireplace fuel, but you should still try to get your hands on wood that burns efficiently and easily. While doing so, consider getting seasoned wood that has already been dried out for at least 6 months and ideally close to a year.
Aside from seasoned wood, you should also choose logs that are suitable for chimneys. Hardwood is the best choice when it comes to wood fuel. Hardwood logs such as ash, birch, oak, etc. burn hotter and much longer than cheaper softwood logs like cedar, pine and spruce.
Leave Little Ash
Another tip you should follow during chimney maintenance is leaving a small amount of ash in the fireplace. While some people recommend removing all of the ash in the fireplace during cleaning, it is actually better to leave some behind. This is to make the new batch of wood fuel retain more heat.
Caps for Chimney
Chimney caps act as barriers that protect your chimney from natural elements such as falling debris, leaves, animals, bugs, and more. Without a cap to protect your chimney, the flue lining of your chimney might deteriorate faster. The build-up of debris that gets into your chimney can also be a fire hazard. If you don’t have caps for your chimney, then you should consider getting one.
Waterproofing Your Chimney
Chimney caps can also help in preventing rainwater from entering your chimney, but if they are not enough, you can do waterproofing. Chimney waterproofing is applied from bottom to top to prevent chimney leaks, especially during the rainy season.
You should call a professional to inspect your chimney at least once a year. This can help you detect small problems early on – that are not easily noticeable – and fix them before they turn into a more serious problem. This can also help you avoid high repair costs in the future.
Professional inspections are crucial in maintaining your chimney’s life expectancy. If you suspect a serious issue with your chimney system, do not hesitate to call for help. Furthermore, if you recently experienced a heavy storm, it is best to have your chimney checked by a professional crew.
At Turnbull Masonry, we have experts that can help you with all your chimney repair needs. Aside from chimney repairs, we also offer a variety of masonry services such as brick repair, tuckpointing, concrete repair, parging, and more. To get your quote, contact our amazing team today!