Summer is still in full swing here in the land of 10,000 lakes. But it won’t be too long before cooler weather starts to blow in, blanketing the city in red and gold leaves.
There’s plenty to love about fall from oversized sweaters to pumpkin patch visits. But one of our favorite things at The Construction Group is settling in before a cozy hearth on a crisp autumn evening.
If you love fall fireplace weather as much as we do, it’s important to make sure your fireplace is safe and ready for the season ahead of time. In this post, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about chimney maintenance. Check out these chimney maintenance tips and then give us a call to schedule your chimney service before summer is behind us.
The Importance of Chimney Maintenance
It’s easy to overlook chimney maintenance until that first fireplace weather blows in. But skipping it can be dangerous. That’s why maintaining your chimney is one of the household chores that you can’t risk putting off.
Follow these chimney maintenance tips to keep your family safe when you fire up the hearth:
1. Schedule an annual professional chimney inspection.
Many serious chimney problems can be difficult to identify without experience. A professional chimney inspection should be completed before you fire up your chimney for the season each year. An in-depth inspection will include looking for issues like chemical buildup and problems with the flue.
2. Never leave the fire unattended or on overnight.
During the colder winter months, it can be tempting to do just about anything to stay warm. But leaving a gas fireplace on throughout the night is a risk that’s not worth taking. All fireplaces produce carbon monoxide, an odorless gas that can quickly and invisibly fill your home. That’s why it’s important to never leave your fireplace unattended.
3. Use a chimney cap.
When you’re not using your chimney during the off-season, be sure to use a chimney cap. This prevents animals and debris from getting into your chimney and creating a fire hazard.
4. Keep an eye out for masonry damage.
Cracks in your masonry bricks can create a serious fire hazard. Additionally, cracks will only get worse over time as they’re exposed to temperature changes and normal wear and tear. The longer you put off masonry repairs when they’re needed, the worse they’ll get. If you identify masonry damage inside of your home or on your exterior chimney, call a professional masonry contractor right away.
5. Make sure your fireplace screen is in good condition.
To protect the inside of your home, you need a good working fireplace screen. If your screen is damaged or has holes, ashes can get into your home. Be sure to replace your fireplace screen the moment you identify a problem.
6. Consider installing a gas log.
One of the best ways to simplify your chimney maintenance is by transforming your wood-burning fireplace into a gas-burning one by installing a gas log. Gas logs put off fewer harmful chemicals, and they’re much more efficient than a wood-burning fireplace. Your chimney will be easier to keep clean, and you won’t have to worry about gathering and chopping wood. And it looks just as great as a wood fireplace since many gas logs look almost identical to a wood log.
7. Sweep your ashes between fires and fire seasons.
When you’re using your chimney regularly during the cold winter months, the ashes and debris can build up fast. Don’t make the mistake of letting all of that ash just sit in your fireplace during the warm weather season as this can interfere with the air quality in your home. If you’re not using your fireplace and it has had plenty of time to cool from the last fire, use your fireplace cleaning tools to sweep out the ashes thoroughly.
8. Don’t burn newspapers or trash.
On those cold winter nights, it can be tempting to grab anything you can and toss it on the fire, especially when you’re running low on fuel. But many types of trash or newspapers in your fireplace can lead to chemical buildup on the walls of your chimney that creates a fire hazard. Only burn approved wood products in your fireplace. Hardwoods that have less sap are usually your best bet for a good fire. Birch, oak, maple, birch, and ash are all great options for burning in your fireplace.
Twin Cities Chimney Maintenance
If it’s been a while since you’ve had your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected, don’t put it off any longer. Postponing chimney maintenance can create a safety hazard or lead to masonry damage.
Don’t wait until fall to schedule your next chimney maintenance services. Contact The Construction Group in Woodbury at 651-731-5857 or contact us online today. Give us a call today!