Having a fireplace at home is an eco-friendly and affordable solution to room heating. However, you need to know how to maintain and inspect the safety of the chimney because it is central to the furnace system. Moreover, the exhaust smoke leaves soot and creosotes sticking all over the inside part of the chimney. Without proper care, those buildups will lead to multiple problems.
Why You Should Care
The first reason is that, according to the US Fire Administration’s 2016 survey, furnace flame rollouts were the second highest cause of residential building fires. When there is too much exhaust buildup in the chimney, the furnace will lack oxygen. This condition will lead the flame to feed on the gas out of the fireplace and burn nearby flammable materials.
Second, sooty deposits can damage your chimney structure. If you let them stay there for a long time, you can expect a gradual collapse of the whole structure: the bricks may turn brittle, the firebox assemblies can deteriorate, and rust will engulf the damper.
Third, if the fireplace’s structure is damaged and no longer contains the flue gas suitably, it will leak to your vent system and poison anyone who breathes it. Carbon monoxide poisoning is not something that you can ignore because the symptoms are subtle and can be fatal.
Calling the Professional
A professional chimney sweep is always the person you can count on for this matter, especially if you cannot afford the risks of inspecting your fireplace by yourself. Also, pick this option when the sooty buildups are already severe, or the damages seem to be too much for you to handle. Do not experiment with your curiosity because it may worsen the situation.
If you live in Belgium, you can try Schoorsteenveger’s service. You can find detailed discussions on when you should call a professional sweep and when you should not.
Besides, not everyone is fit enough to scale the roof or put themselves into the chimney to inspect it. You should consider your safety, or you may end up with injuries.
Chimney Care You Can Do on Your Own
Before you start a fire, you need to make sure the firebox is clean from any leftover debris. You should not think that the unburnt charcoals or woods can help to light the fire better because they might be damp of sap. You may have picked up the wrong logs. If you continue to mix them with the quality firewoods, you can spoil the good ones.
Second, you should check if there are any animal excrements near the chimney. Bats, birds, and other animals may nest there. And for birds and bats, you should watch out for their droppings because they can harm your respiratory organs. Therefore, you should install a mesh or chimney cap to prevent wild animals from entering there.…