Maintain Home Chimney for Cozy Fireplace Use This Winter

Keep that home chimney up to snuff so you can take the chill off with your fireplace this winter. Just by taking a few precautions, homeowners can ensure those home fires stay burning in Hampton Roads before spring arrives.

Maintain minimal chimney upkeep by doing following:

  • Hire a chimney sweep. These professionals are specially trained in cleaning chimneys; a clean chimney is key to a properly functioning fireplace. Over time, soot and creosote (deposits left from wood-burning fires) can become problematic. These substances can make it difficult to start fires and more importantly, can cause house fires. Animals can become trapped in chimneys and will need removing as well. Depending upon how many fires are burned in a fireplace, a good cleaning is needed about every 75 fires.
  • Use suitable kindling. Stay away from wet wood; keep exterior wood piles protected from winter precipitation. Use dry hardwood logs that have aged at least a year since being cut to ensure the best burning. Refrain from burning plastics, colored papers, Styrofoam, plywood, driftwood, particleboard and excessive paper of any kind. Consider using creosote-reducing logs to minimize creosote residue.
  • Promote good drafting. Keep glass fireplace doors open to increase ventilation. Doors can be replaced with a decorative mesh screen. Cracking a window open can aid a good draft and improve the overall air quality in the home as well.

This time of year can be the perfect season to get together and enjoy evenings around a warm fire. Don't let deferred chimney maintenance prevent you from using your home fireplace this winter.

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Categories: Home Improvement

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