You’re ready for the low temperatures to give you a chance to light a fire in your fireplace once again. A warm, welcoming fire can make a house feel like home. But don’t rush into using yours just yet. Before you get out the firewood, here are 4 things you should know before you start to use your chimney for the first time this year.
A Chimney Fire Is a Very Real Possibility
Unfortunately, a chimney fire could occur if your chimney is not in good shape for the colder weather. Creosote—a tarlike substance that collects in the chimney as a byproduct of the combustion process—is highly flammable, and too much of it means a major fire hazard. Certain conditions in the chimney flue, like cracks or improper ventilation, make it more likely for fires to spread outside of the home.
You Should Have a Chimney Cap
Make sure that you have a chimney cap in place before you use your chimney. If not, winter weather can do a lot of damage to the inside of your flue. Water causes the masonry to expand and contract and may eventually lead to cracking. And it speeds up the development of creosote.
Your Chimney Might Have Structural Issues
If you don’t have a chimney cap in place, if you don’t have a properly sized chimney flue, or if it’s been over a year since someone has inspected your chimney, there could be structural issues in the flue you don’t know about. A preseason chimney inspection can reveal these issues to you.
Professional Chimney Technicians Are Waiting for Your Call
As you’ve seen from the information above, it’s so important that you have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a reputable company. Keep in mind that good companies typically don’t go door to door asking if you’d like an inspection. This may be a scam.
Look for chimney technicians certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and other reputable organizations to be sure your inspector and chimney sweep is qualified! Do this well before it gets too cold, so you have time to fix any problems that are discovered in your chimney.
2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. offers chimney inspection and cleaning in St. Paul, MN.