Buying a new home is a very exciting affair. And if it has a fireplace, then the charm just magnifies manifold! You cannot wait to snuggle in front of the warm dancing embers in the winter and toast marshmallows during fall. Well, your dreams are certainly endearing, but before you get lost in them, there are clean sweep chimney tips you need to be aware of.
Without knowing it, as a new homeowner, you can create hazardous situations linked to the use of your fireplace. Do not light that fire until you are sure you are not making any of the following hazardous mistakes.
1. Lighting a fire without proper clean sweep chimney
Various reports on U.S fires have placed heating equipment and dirty, unmaintained fireplaces as some of the leading causes of fires. While using the fireplace, creosote which is a flammable tar-like substance, is deposited in the chimney liner every time logs are burned. The substance is highly flammable and can be easily ignited by a wild spark or ember to cause a chimney fire. Chimney fires can lead to serious damages to the chimney and flue.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that a chimney and fireplace be inspected at least annually.
2. Hiring a non-certified and incompetent chimney sweep
Starting a clean sweep chimney company is a professional undertaking but it is not rocket science. So, the industry has been invaded by scams. Scammers sometimes take advantage of gullible new homeowners because of the unregulated industry by baiting them using low rates they offer for cleaning and maintenance; door –to-door show ups and other means to reap off the unsuspecting homeowners.
Be warned for they often make up false claims about expensive repairs and make you believe that they are urgent in order to prevent fires. They will take your money and make things worse or run. The quack chimney sweeps often do not have the top-notch equipped needed to do proper repairs. The fake sweeps if allowed to handle your chimney can put your safety and that of your family and property at risk.
So before hiring a clean sweep chimney technician:
-Make sure the company has been around for a few years and have a good reputation.
-Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there is any information about the company.
3. Failing to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home
Carbon monoxide known as this ‘silent killer’ gas is not detectable until dangerous physical reactions are manifested. This is because the deadly fumes has no smell and cannot be seen. To avoid CO poisoning, simply install carbon monoxide detectors inside and outside every bedroom.
4. Water Damage
If you bought a home that has been inhabited before, be sure to check the exterior of your chimney for soft or crumbling mortar or flaking, peeling or cracking of the bricks. If you notice these signs, then there is a possibility of leakage that has led to the damage. It’s important that once you notice any damage, contact a clean sweep chimney contractor to fix the damages before they deteriorate to expensive repairs or call for a chimney rebuild.
5. Chimney Caps
Install a chimney cap or topper. If the house already has a chimney cap then make sure it is in a good state of repair. A chimney cap is an inexpensive preventive measure that prevents small animals like raccoons, bats, birds, squirrels and even snakes from entering the chimney. It also keeps off debris such as dry leaves and twigs which can cause blockages that can block air flow out of your chimney. A chimney cap will not only keep precipitation out of your chimney but also arrest sparks and keep them inside the chimney thus hindering them from escaping from your chimney. Sparks, if not contained in your chimney can land on your roof or your yard and cause a fire.
Consider waterproofing using a product that is 100% vapor permeable and will waterproof the exterior of your chimney while allowing the vapors that form from using your fireplace to escape.
Reach us today and have your chimney cleaned by a clean sweep chimney professional.