Fall is officially here and with it come cool, crisp nights perfect for cozying up next to a crackling fire. But, before you prepare for your first fire of the season, it is important to make sure your chimney is safe. Dangerous house fires escalate in the fall and winter with chimney fires being one of the leading culprits.
The smartest thing you can do is to have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year. A clean chimney is free of dangerous creosote that can easily ignite and cause a home fire. Additionally, an inspection can help determine if you’ve already had a minor chimney fire that may turn into a more serious affair down the road. Most chimney fires are obvious; however, there are cases when a chimney fire goes unnoticed. These are the types of fires that are the most dangerous as the fire may slowly burn and damage the chimney so the next time you use your fireplace your home is not protected resulting in a more damaging fire.
There are a variety of ways to tell if your chimney has had a fire and needs special attention. You may notice:
- Metals and pipes within the fireplace are warped or discolored
- Damaged shingles around the top of the chimney
- A damaged or discolored rain cap on top of your chimney
- Flakes of creosote near the exterior of the chimney
- Expanded creosote, almost puffy in nature, that may have streaks of color in it
- Masonry cracks along the exterior or interior of the chimney
Before you strike a match to enhance the ambiance of your home, make sure your chimney is ready for use. Companies who specialize in chimney cleaning suggest scheduling a cleaning in the spring or summer months when they aren’t as busy. After all, once it is cleaned, it doesn’t get dirty again until your next fire… so, why wait?
Other ways you can protect your chimney from dangerous creosote buildup is by using seasoned firewood or kiln-dried firewood. Hardwoods burn better with less smoke and hotter temperatures. Also, refrain from throwing trash into your fire like wrapping paper, boxes, or leaves as this action can cause noxious fumes and carbon monoxide to build up.
If you do experience a chimney fire, give LaPointe Construction Board-Up Service a call. Our Fire Damage Restoration team has the skills and expertise to repair your home back to its beautiful state before the fire occurred. You can reach us for help with your fire emergency at 978-447-5991. Learn more about our Fire Damage Restoration solutions by visiting our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LaPointeConstruction.