Winter has arrived, and that means it’s time to light up the fireplace again. But before you do so, you must take a few steps to prepare. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends a chimney cleaning and inspection at least once a year, particularly before winter arrives because the structure is more vulnerable due to the freezing and thawing of snow. While you should leave the cleaning to a professional, there are a few preparation tasks you can handle on your own.
How to Get Ready for Chimney Cleaning
1. Prune Nearby Trees
Trees are a common obstruction to chimneys. Not only do they block air flow, but encroaching branches pose a fire hazard. They can also damage the structure, including the cap, making it easier for wildlife to gain entry into your home. If you're handy, use sheers to prune overhanging branches. Otherwise, you can hire a professional to do the job for you.
2. Install a Spark Guard
Chimney cleaning reduces the risk of fire in your home, and a spark guard has the same effect. A spark guard is a screen made of metal mesh or glass that prevents embers from escaping the fireplace. Before using your fireplace this winter, install this component to keep your home and family safe.
3. Use the Right Type of Firewood
Burning softwood like cedar and pine leaves behind deposits of flammable creosote, which can build up in your chimney and cause a fire hazard. Instead, choose a dense, clean-burning firewood like oak. Make sure it has been split and stored away in a dry area for more than six months.
4. Circulate Your Indoor Air
While chimney cleaning will make your fireplace more efficient, circulating the warm air in your home helps, too. You can prevent warm air from rising to the ceiling and spread it throughout the living area by running your ceiling fan at a low speed in a clockwise direction.
After doing some preparation, you may be tempted to get on top of your roof and clean the chimney yourself. However, attempting to do this task is dangerous and should be left to a professional. For all your chimney cleaning needs in Brooklyn and Westbury, NY, count on the team at Premier Cleaning. The locally owned and operated company will remove all creosote and soot buildup to achieve a comfortable and healthy home. Call (917) 275-3280 or visit their website to schedule an appointment.