Having a fireplace or wood-burning stove in your home adds a lot of character and a great way to provide heat to your home. However, wherever there is a wood-burning device, there will be a chimney as well to take the smoke safely away from your home. A chimney must be properly maintained in order to remain safe and to prevent a dangerous chimney fire. Just like many other parts of the house, a chimney is relatively easy to maintain if you follow these simple tips for chimney maintenance.
· Have it professionally inspected. One of the first things you should do for your chimney is to have it checked out and cleaned by a professional. A professional chimney sweep will make sure that the chimney bricks and mortar are in good shape. He will also verify that all of the parts of your fireplace are working properly and will also give your chimney a thorough cleaning so that you are starting fresh.
· Avoid soft wood. Soft woods like pine contain sap that can stick to the sides of the chimney and increase the rate of the creosote that builds up. It also does not burn as hot or as efficiently as hardwood burns.
· Use seasoned wood. Seasoned wood is wood that has been allowed to completely dry out. It will burn thoroughly and better than green wood. Green or fresh wood will have difficulty staying lit and burning completely. Again, this can cause creosote to build up more quickly resulting in a dangerous situation where your chimney could ignite. How can you tell if wood is properly seasoned? Split off a small strand, if it breaks easily, the wood is well seasoned.
· Install a chimney cap. If your chimney does not have a chimney cap, you need to have one installed. Chimney caps prevent things like sticks, rain, and animals from getting into the chimney and additionally, your house. A chimney cap also protects your roof from sparks that may escape up the chimney. The cap contains a mesh screen around the sides that stops sparks from landing on your roof or any other location that could result in an unwanted fire.
Enjoying your fireplace on a cold day is a great way to spend time. It can also be an excellent way to warm your house. Making sure that it is done safely is also important. You should always take proper care to maintain your chimney to prevent a dangerous situation that could result in a fire. So whether you need a complete cleaning or simply a chimney cap in Alpharetta, be sure to keep all of it in good shape.