Thinking of cleaning your chimney may bring up colorful dance numbers from childhood musicals, but keeping your chimney and flue clean and clear is just as important today as it was then. Today, many house fires are still caused by dirty or poorly maintained chimneys. Learn how you can save your family and still enjoy your fireplace.
Why Chimney Cleaning Is Important
Not cleaning your chimney leaves the chemicals and residue building on the inside walls. Creosote is one of these chemicals that will build up without proper cleaning and maintenance. This carbon-based chemical can heat up and begin fires when mixed with the already closed conditions of your chimney.
A chimney fire can occur without knowledge of you or your neighbors. Over time, these creosote fires will weaken your chimney walls. Eventually, this structural damage combined with other factors will cause an explosive fire.
Preventive Chimney Maintenance Tips
There are some things you can do to help prevent the build-up of dangerous chemicals like creosote:
- Make sure the damper is completely opened before you light a fire
- Stay away from painted wood that can unleash harmful chemicals
- Pressure-treated wood should be avoided as it can hasten creosote buildup
- Clean out your firebox regularly to avoid ash buildup
- Use smaller logs on top of larger ones for less smoke
- make sure all wood you burn has been seasoned at least one year
Get a Chimney Inspection
Get a chimney inspection Maryland. That point cannot be stressed enough as only a professional knows how to accurately and safely inspect a chimney for creosote buildup and other issues. This should be done annually, but if you tend to use your fireplace a lot, it can be done more often.