Chimney contractors report that most of the chimney fires and accidents come about due to the mistakes that homeowners make. The most common mistakes include:
Operating a dirty chimney
When you light a fire in your fireplace, creosote buildups. If you allow the creosote to build up for a long time without removing it, it puts your home at the risk of catching fire. Chimney fires are extremely dangerous and if you don’t put them off at the right time, they burn down your entire property.
Some homeowners have the notion that since they haven’t been lighting the fire in their units for a long time, their fireplaces are safe. While the unit might not be having a lot of deposited creosote, birds and animals might have died up there. The critters might also have built nests that block the chimney.
Regardless of whether you have been using your chimney or not, you should make a habit of cleaning it regularly. You can do the cleaning by yourself if you have the skills, but if you have never done it before, let a chimney cleaning professional help you out.
In addition to cleaning, you also should make a habit of hiring a chimney professional to inspect the chimney at least once a year. As rule of thumb, ensure that the contractor you hire is experienced and certified to work in your area.
Being a cheapskate
Some homeowners know that they need to clean and inspect their chimneys but they will hire the cheapest professionals that they come across. You should avoid doing this.
You should note that there is a good reason why the contractors are cheap—they are most likely inexperienced hence will provide you with cheap service.
For you to ensure that your chimney is given the service it deserves and you are safe, you should hire an experienced and certified professional to inspect and clean your fireplace. While the professional will be expensive, the extra cost will be worth it.
Relying on chimney sweeping logs to keep the chimney safe
While creosote sweeping logs have been approved by the chimney safety institute of America for use in the chimney, you shouldn’t rely on them to keep your chimney clean and safe.
While they might aid in getting rid of the creosote, they have been shown to be less effective than chimney sweeps. This means that even if you are using the logs, ensure that you also regularly hire a chimney sweeping professional to inspect your fireplace and clean it. Don’t rely on the logs as you will be putting yourself and your family at great risk.
Ignoring carbon monoxide detectors
If you visit most homes, you will find that they lack carbon monoxide detectors. This is wrong. When you are burning wood or any other fuels, it’s common for carbon monoxide to build up in your home.
Since the gas is odorless, you can easily inhale it to high levels that put your life in danger.
For you and your family to be safe you should install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Installing the pieces isn’t enough—you also need to inspect them regularly to ensure that they are in good condition all the time.
Believing that seasoned wood burns clean
You might have heard a lot about seasoned wood. This is wood that has been air dried for at least six months. While the wood produces more heat and less creosote, it doesn’t mean that it burns clean.
Just like any other wood, it leads to creosote buildup and if you don’t remove it early enough, you will be putting your life and that of your family at risk.
Even if you are burning seasoned wood, you should still hire chimney cleaning services Columbia MD professionals at the end of the year to clean the chimney and inspect it for any issues it might be having.
For you to reduce the amount of creosote deposited on the chimney, go for properly seasoned wood. Before making the purchase, check the moisture of the wood. For peace of mind, borrow or buy a moisture meter that will make the process easy.