Responsible Homeowner Chimney Maintenance

Responsible Homeowner Chimney MaintenanceOwning a home is a big responsibility. It requires regular maintenance to keep it in tip top shape. Your average homeowner knows what to do. They mow the lawn, shovel the walk, trim the bushes and weed the garden. When the house needs painting, they paint it both inside and outside. But what frequently gets left to the wayside is the focal point of your home – the chimney. Yes, that chimney is important and not just because it allows you to stoke up the fireplace. Most people neglect their chimney and many learn to regret that neglect.

Your fireplace is a great feature of your home, but it can also cause you problems if not properly maintained. When you use your fireplace, wood burning or gas, creosote builds up on the lining of your chimney and as it builds up it will decrease the airflow which could result in toxic gases entering your home. It is one of the leading causes of house fires.

You probably know the importance of keeping your fireplace clean. Sweep regularly to remove the ashes from the floor of your fireplace. But your maintenance tasks don’t stop there. Use a stiff brush and clean the walls of your fireplace too. Before you start a fire, make sure there is sufficient air flow by lighting a match and ensuring the flame and smoke drift up the chimney.

Above all, have your chimney inspected annually. This inspection by a chimney specialist will examine the areas of your chimney that are readily accessible. The inspector will evaluate your flue to ensure there are no cracks that can cause fires in your chimney structure. You should also watch for cracked or crumbling mortar. Do a regular walk around and check for loose bricks or flashing that isn’t seated right. If you see anything out of the ordinary, call in a specialist. Your family will thank you for it.