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Chimney Cleaning and Maintenance Procedures

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Chimney Cleaning and Maintenance Procedures

Before winter sets in, make sure your chimney is properly maintained so you can enjoy your fireplace without worrying.

Some of the indicators that your chimney needs cleaning may include:

  • Burned wood odors coming from the fireplace when not in use.
  • Fires that tend to burn poorly, or smoke coming into the room during a fire.
  • A black fireplace damper that is caked with creosote. You may be able to reach behind the damper and feel for gunk buildup.

Chimney Maintenance Tips

Green wood, dismantled furniture and other questionable fuel should not be added to the fireplace. If possible, burn hardwoods like maple, oak and ash.

Build fires correctly: place kindling in a criss-cross pattern overtop of crumbled newspaper and place a couple of thin, split logs on top, allowing for air to circulate. Make sure logs are properly supported so they don’t slip. Always open your damper all the way before a fire.

Excess smoke coming from the chimney is a sign that a fire isn’t burning correctly. If you see dark smoke, adjust your dampers to allow for more air circulation.

Install a chimney cap. This will keep animals from entering the chimney and also prevent rain from falling into the chimney flue. A chimney cap can prevent heat loss in the winter.

Homeowners with a fireplace should be sure to install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inside and outside of bedrooms. Replace the batteries each season and test the detectors regularly.

Cleaning Your Chimney

Proper care and maintenance of your chimneys, woodstoves and fireplaces can help protect you from unnecessary fires and carbon monoxide poisonings. We recommend hiring a professional, certified chimney sweeper.

You should consider asking the following questions before allowing someone to service your home:

  • Can they provide references?
  • Does the company or individual carry a valid business liability insurance policy to protect your home against accidents?

Every household with an active fireplace should ensure fire safety rules are in place so that all members of the family stay safe. A fireplace is meant to be enjoyed, and regular maintenance and safety precautions will ensure it is all winter long.

Be sure you have the proper level of homeowners’ insurance. Call us today for a quote.

Credit: Desjardins

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