How To Keep Your Chimney Clean
Your chimney is a blessing in the cold winter months when you can curl up around the fireplace and soak in the warmth. But do you know for the efficient working of your chimney, you need to clean it? You would ask how you would clean the chimney or you usually brush the ashes away, but you need proper cleaning of your chimney done by chimney cleaning services.
Let’s face it, once you get your chimney installed, you tend to forget about it thinking that it will last you till the end of your life. But a chimney needs regular and thorough cleaning. When there is fire and wood burning, there is smoke, and when there is smoke there are a lot of dangerous by products and gases produced as a result of burning which can enter your home. Cleaning your chimney will cause it to work more efficiently and effectively because the byproducts build up and form a layer on the insides of the chimney which then interfere with the proper emission of the dangerous gases outside the chimney and as a result it comes in your homes. Also the layer on the inside of the chimney may lead to many sparks and house fires. There are many ways that you can keep your chimney clean.
First and foremost, always clean the fireplace area after use, off course after it’s been cooled down. You will be needing certain tools for this purpose. Make sure you thoroughly clear off any ashes and residue of burning wood. You can even scrub the residue on the internal sides of the chimney.
Make sure you are fit and fine for this. Climb carefully on the roof with a ladder. Take a torchlight and some tools and clean the chimney cap or the upper area of the chimney. Many time small animals, rodents, insects and small birds take refuge in the chimney opening for warmth or for rest. Often they build nests inside as well. Clear of any nests or obstructions.
Sometimes trees, plants, leave and debris may also fall inside the chimney due to wind. You will need to remove all sorts of obstructions from your chimney. As these obstructions cause the gases to come back down again and enter your homes which are dangerous for you to inhale as they can cause many infections and breathing problems.
The Buildup Of Creosote
Creosote is one of the most dangerous by-products of burning wood. It is a yucky, sticky tar like blackish brown substance which is produced as a result of the condensation of the smoke when it goes up the chimney. It may get dried and hardened over time. Creosote increases with time and hence causes the gases to come inside your home. The most creosote buildup is at the top of the chimney. Whether you use your chimney rarely or regularly, you cannot stop the buildup of creosote. It is dangerous because it is a highly flammable product. However you can slow down the buildup of creosote by taking these steps:
- Burn wood that has been dried for at least 6 months to one year.
- Never use freshly cut wood as it has more moisture content than wood that has been seasoned and dried.
- Never burn chemically treated wood or wood that has been painted.
- Always use hardwoods for your fireplace as they burn slowly and with a firm and steady flame, while the softwoods produce a high flame and burn very fast thus produce more creosote buildup.
You cannot completely stop the buildup of creosote but can surely slow down the buildup.
Chimney cleaning is no easy task and should be done by professionals on an annual basis. This ensures the efficient working of the chimney. The chimney sweep will come and completely clean the chimney from creosote and other debris that has formed a layer on the insides of the chimney or have accumulated in the chimney cap.
Chimney is an essential part of your homes and to keep it clean should be your top most priority because health and safety comes first. And be sure to select a reputable chimney sweep service Ellicott City for cleaning and maintenance.