Winter is upon us, which means it’s time to start using our fireplaces again! Chimney maintenance is vital for optimal safety in the household if you’re using your fireplace this season. Before we get ready to cozy up to the fireside, taking some safety precautions will save us some time and effort in the long run.
Inspect Your Chimney
The first thing you can do to start the inspection on your chimney is to look at the chimney cap. If the cap is broken, check for any small animals or potential bird nests. It’s recommended to get it replaced before further use. Investigate any structural damages in your chimney, such as loose bricks, fractures, and cracks in the mortar. Make sure to get these issues fixed to prevent more severe damage.
We also recommend getting a chimney sweep at least once a year. It’s vital to do this in order to avoid any fire hazards. A sweep will ensure that any built-up creosote, soot, and other materials are cleaned and removed. A sweep will also aid in spotting any damages to your chimney you may have missed beforehand. If you’re due for a yearly chimney sweep, contact Seacoast Chimney to schedule an appointment!
Get Your Home Ready
There are a few things to do here to ensure the safe use of your fireplace this season. Start with decluttering anything around the fireplace. This includes things like rugs that are too close, flammable items, and items that can be ruined due to extreme heat.
If you haven’t recently, it’s a good idea to check and see if you need to replace any batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This way, you’ll be better prepared in the case of any emergencies. After you replace the batteries, make sure to do a test run to ensure everything is working accordingly!
It’s important to use dense, seasoned wood such as oak, hickory, and ash. Seasoned wood means that the wood has been dried enough to eliminate as much moisture as possible. This type of wood produces less creosote than softwoods like pine, cedar, or spruce. Wood that has been dried and split for at least six months is the optimal choice.
If you’re unsure if your firewood is adequately dried out, you can purchase a wood moisture meter for an accurate estimate. It’s essential to note that wood above 20% moisture content should be avoided. Instead, store it for longer to make sure it’s completely dried out before using. For reference and tips on storing firewood this season, you can check out our previous blog here for more information.
Choose Seacoast Chimney for Chimney Maintenance Services
You can rely on our professionals at Seacoast Chimney to get you ready to use your fireplace this winter season. If you’re curious about what else we can do for you, you can check out the other services we provide online!