On a cold winter night there is absolutely nothing better than sitting near a crackling fire sipping on a warm drink wrapped in a fluffy blanket. Many people don’t see their fireplaces as something luxurious and cozy – but hard to keep up with and a nuisance in their home.
While having a fireplace and chimney can require some extra care, there are four easy ways that you can maintain it throughout the year. With this extra little care, your chimney will stay in tiptop shape and keep you warm on even the most snowy and windy winter nights.
Only Burn Well-Seasoned Wood
There are two different types of wood: seasoned and green. Seasoned wood is wood that has been cut and dried for months and specifically made to burn in your fireplace. It will prevent your chimney from getting clogged with tar, meaning there is little chance for damage.
Seasoned wood is also low in moisture and will create less soot than green wood. Less soot means an easier time cleaning and sweeping the fireplace and chimney.
Routinely Sweep the Chimney
It’s recommended that you have your chimney swept twice a year, especially if it is a wood-burning fireplace. Your chimney is open to the rest of the world, meaning things and animals can get stuck in there over time. Birds, squirrels, and more have been found stuck in chimneys.
As a passageway for smoke out of your house, it’s essential to have the chimney swept often. If there is a blockage in the chimney, that smoke can come right back into your house for you to breathe in. That’s a health risk you don’t want to take.
Waterproof Your Chimney
When you think of a fire, the last thing you think about is moisture, right? Well, chimneys can collect a lot of moisture from the burning wood, so it’s a good idea to get your chimney waterproofed.
Place a cap over the hole of your chimney to keep out any rainwater. These caps also allow smoke to exit.
Use a water sealant on the outside of the chimney to keep water and moisture from wearing on the bricks and seeping into your home.
Lastly, make sure your chimney flashing is working properly and in good condition. This will help prevent any leaks that could arise.
Get an Annual Inspection
Have a professional come out and inspect your fireplace and chimney once a year. This is essential to maintaining your chimney well and keeping yourself and your family safe.
While sweeping it helps to keep it clean, there are some things chimney sweeps may not notice or check. A professional inspector will look at everything and make sure your chimney is in tiptop shape.
There are three levels of inspection, one being basic and the third being the most in-depth to check for all potential problems.
It’s essential to keep your chimney maintained for both the health of your family and your chimney.