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Chimney Sweep & More

Mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, and even sweeping the floor. Even though some of us try to deny it, chores are an inevitable part of our daily lives. Unsurprisingly, chimney sweep & maintenance and its associated fireplace is no exception to the rule. 

Keeping you and your family warm during the wintertime in the “old-fashioned way” can create quite a mess, from an accumulation of ashes to films of soot that sticks to the carpets nearby – this doesn’t even include other serious issues such as animal nests and cracked mortar!

Tips to to Keep Chimney in its Prime

If you want to keep your chimney in its prime, ideal, working state, it is a must to follow these basic chimney chores:

1. The first step is always an inspection.

The first leap you can always do to keep your chimney in its finest condition is to know if there’s anything wrong with it in the first place. Regular inspections are integral in monitoring if your chimney is still in good shape. It is always better to fix problems when they’re still small, not when they’re at the brink of irreversible damage.
It should be made a habit to look around both your fireplace and chimney inside and out once a month. On the outside, you should keep an eye out for any kind of chips or cracks in the masonry of your chimney. Most of the time, they are caused by normal erosion, but they can also be a telltale sign of a much bigger problem such as a leak.
They could also experience something called spalling, when the bricks themselves are pushed around and are of an unusual texture. This is an indication that the structural integrity of your stacks has been undermined. The cap is another area you can pull your attention to - if there is any sort of damage of malformation, then it is ideal for you to replace it. Replacing them isn’t extremely difficult, but it is always recommended for you to hire professionals to do the job for you.
Unlike the outside, inspecting the inside is a little bit easier; Watermarks around the chimney and mantle is a red flag of a leak in the chimney and is usually worse than it appears. Chips inside of the firebox can also indicate that the flue liner needs to be replaced.

2. Be cautious of obstructions.

Air channels are your frontlines of defense with regards to preventing indoor air contamination. Although routine air channel cleaning is ideally done by seasoned professionals, such as our team at On Time Home Experts, consistently changing air channels is a simple route for property owners to improve indoor air quality, especially if you are unable to access professional air cleaning services.
Firstly, you should always make sure to burn only dry cured wood - this is wood that has been ideally split and dried in a timeframe of 8 to 12 months such as hickory, beech, and ash. Other forms such as crates, painted wood, or building lumber, however, should always be avoided as they can release extra chemicals such as creosote, which can cling to the inside of your chimney.
If you ever sense unusual smells such as rot, moisture, or smoke, you might have a blockage inside your stack. This may result in carbon monoxide entering your home and risk you and your family getting poisoned.

3. Clean the firebox regularly.

The firebox is arguably the most iconic part of the fireplace structure, as we see it in every household that has a fireplace. Therefore, it’s always important to clean it. Unlike repairs or blockage removals that are ideally done by professionals, cleaning the firebox is a rather available chore to everyone.
All you’re going to need is some sort of metal bucket, a face mask, gloves, a rag, and some cleaner. You wouldn’t want to burn yourself, so wait for the time until everything has cooled down. You still have to be careful even after waiting though, as ashes can stay warm for days. Whenever you clean, always make sure to put a protective sheet on the floor and nearby furniture.
Carefully scoop out all the ashes and put them in the bucket. If the bucket is full, take it to a safe area away from combustible materials. Let the water empty on top of it and let the ashes sit for a couple of days before disposing them completely. Another method is to reuse the ashes as nutrients or fertilizer, or distilled into a cleaning solution.
You can also conduct a more in-depth cleaning process around the perimeter of the fireplace with a wire brush or scraper. Anything that looks even slightly stained can be cleaned with a basic cleaner solution of warm water and baking soda. After letting it sit for a while, you can wipe it down with a rag.

4. Schedule a Chimney Sweep

It doesn’t matter how careful you are or how frequently you do maintenance. Eventually, you’re going to need a team of seasoned professionals to look after your chimney and fireplace! A chimney sweep will do what is outlined in this article to a much higher level, along with integrating other abilities to ensure every single part of your chimney is in ideal, working condition.
A certified chimney sweep will help you diagnose issues with your chimney and put a fix to it immediately. Along with issue diagnosis, a chimney sweep will also be able to help you clean out all the creosote, soot, foliage, or even animal nests that may be getting in the way of your fireplace.
The secret to availing a high quality, satisfaction guaranteed chimney sweep service is the certification. If they don’t have a certification from the Chimney Safety Institute of America, it wouldn’t be worth it to invest in them. If you are unsure, you can crowdsource from your neighbors or the internet to see what they have to say.
Certified professionals use top-of-the-line equipment to assess and pinpoint problems with your chimney with absolute precision, so expect the use of cameras with plenty of pictures. Invasive procedures might be necessary, too, depending on the level of deterioration your chimney has suffered.

5. Don’t ignore these important chimney chores.

Like any other household chore, forgetting to do even the basics of chimney cleaning will leave you not only with an inky chimney and fireplace, but also with a possible safety hazard to you and your family. Make it a habit to check the condition of your furnace once a season inside and out to ensure they are in proper working order.
On the outside, you should watch out for chips and cracks. Inside, look for blockages. Whenever you use the fireplace, only use the wood that is recommended. Make sure to keep the firebox cleaned as well. Finally, scheduling a chimney sweep is ideal to keep everything in its ideal state.

Hire Professionals for Chimney Sweep

From a simple inspection to a full chimney sweep, you can rest assured that we at On Time Home Experts can do it for you! We have helped thousands of homeowners with the best chimney sweep and inspection services since 2011. Contact us today and our customer care experts will be pleased to assist you further!

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