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Winter Fireplace Maintenance

You’ve heard it from us, time and time again – “have a professional chimney sweep done”, “schedule your chimney sweep”, and while it’s true, there’s more chimney maintenance that you need to plan for. Especially before you enjoy a cozy fire with your loved ones. If you’re not entirely sure where to start when it comes to chimney maintenance, Valley Chimney can help. Below are some important maintenance tips to keep in mind.

Have a Professional Chimney Sweep Done

Annually, you should have a professional chimney sweep done, to ensure your chimney system is working properly. A chimney sweep will clean your chimney from creosote buildup, soot, and remove any bird nests or debris that could be inhabiting the chimney and create a fire hazard. With the chimney sweep, our team will inspect the chimney exterior and interior, to ensure there are no cracks or damages to the structure. Any damaged mortar, loose or cracked bricks can all be potential hazards to your chimney.

Not only will the structure be inspected with a professional chimney sweep, but so will the chimney liner, to make sure it doesn’t have any damage or is deteriorating. If the chimney sweep professional does see any damage or red flags, they will recommend the proper steps to take for repairing the chimney damages.

Inspect Your Chimney Cap

During your annual chimney inspection, the cap will be looked at to ensure it’s in good condition. Your chimney cap will keep birds, other critters, and debris out of your chimney, that is if it’s in good condition. If there are damages or holes in the cap, you could be asking for trouble, but the chimney sweep professional will take the proper steps to replace your cap and ensure that it’s secured on the chimney.

Use Only Seasoned Wood

We suggest only using seasoned wood in your fireplace. Unseasoned wood could have trouble burning and can send sparks flying. The wood if unseasoned could increase the creosote buildup in your chimney and create a serious fire hazard. Using the right seasoned wood is best for burning and heat efficiency, it’s also the safest option. We recommend using hardwoods like oak or ash and avoiding softer woods like pine. It’s also best to have wood that’s been cut for at least six months.

Keep Your Fires Small

Keeping your fires small means not overloading the firebox with wood. Using too much wood can create a lot of smoke and creosote overall. Smaller fires will keep everyone and your home safer. When building your fire, put the logs towards the rear of the wood-burning fireplace and use kindling instead of flammable liquids to ignite the fire. Burning items like paper trash and construction lumber will create really hot and large fires that will damage the firebox over time.

Valley Chimney Sweep Are The Pros To Trust

For over 40 years, our Valley Chimney team has been working around the Chicagoland area to sweep, repair and maintain chimneys. We’ve removed debris from chimneys, replaced masonry and mortar, installed gas logs and glass doors, and so much more. We use the best tools and have the industry expertise to get the job done right. If you’re looking for a chimney sweep or repair service, contact us today.

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