If you’re like most people, you tend to only use your fireplace in the winter months. That said, when’s the last time you had your fireplace and chimney professionally inspected for safety reasons? If it has been a while, now’s a good time to call Roofing by Bruce/Bruce’s Chimney Service at 570-424-8891 and schedule a check-up.
Have Your Chimney Swept
When preparing a fireplace for use in the winter, it’s a good idea to have the chimney swept. This way soot and debris get removed. Also, a professional can take a look at all the inner workings of the fireplace and chimney to ensure everything is in order and working properly, from the chimney liner to the firebox, and the smoke chamber to the damper. It’s also important to check and make sure animals haven’t taken up residence in there!
Fill in the Cracks
Sometimes there can be loose bricks, missing mortar and/or cracks where you don’t want cracks. Obviously, you want to have fires that are “safe” and won’t burn your house down, right? Of course! Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure the chimney system works well so it safely removes toxins from your house.
If you do light a fire without having the fireplace/chimney checked first, see if you notice any strong odors or drafty areas, which could indicate that you have “issues.”
Look Out for Creosote
Over time, “creosote” can build up in your chimney from past fires. It’s a highly flammable substance and you don’t want too much of it in your chimney. In fact, you may want a professional to remove any build-up. Ideally, avoid burning softwood or green wood since these produce creosote quickly. Instead, opt for burning dense wood (such as oak) that has been properly split and stored for at least six months in a dry place.
Be Careful With the Wood
When making fires in a fireplace, place the wood toward the back of the fireplace on top of a metal rack. Be sure to open the “damper,” too, so fumes and smoke flow out of your house rather than into your room! It’s also a good idea to have a protective guard in place so flames and sparks can’t easily escape the fireplace and end up in your room– so glass fireplace doors and/or mesh metal screens are a must.