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Is Your Chimney Safe For Use?

Nothing beats the ambiance offered by a fireplace. It adds a cozy atmosphere to any home setting and can help make an evening perfect, especially throughout the cold weather months. Yet, with owning a fireplace comes a lot of responsibility and it is important to make sure that your fireplace is safe to use before lighting any fires. There are a number of things you can inspect and watch out to ensure that your home and family stay protected. Follow the tips listed below.

Is Your Chimney Safe for Use - Gloucester VA - Olde Town Chimney

  •  Check For Blockages: Animal nests and other debris can quickly clog up any chimney or venting system. If the flue or damper is blocked up, air cannot escape properly, meaning you may have harmful fumes backing up into your home. On top of this, your fireplace will not run as efficiently as possible and may cause issues further on down the line.
  • Buy Smoke Detectors: Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are an important addition to any home, especially those with fireplaces. Carbon monoxide is hard to detect with one’s basic senses and is very harmful if inhaled. If affects various parts of the body and is known for causing brain damage in young children. If you do not own these detectors, be sure to purchase them as soon as possible.
  • Schedule A Cleaning: If creosote builds up, it can quickly ignite a fire in the chimney, putting you and your entire family at risk. Not only could you potentially burn down your entire home, but you are putting your fireplace and chimney through a lot of damage that will need to eventually be addressed. Get a professional in to clean and inspect the chimney, ensuring that everything is safe for use.
  • Check The Outside: Many remember to check all of the internal aspects of the chimney, but scanning the outside areas is important, as well. Check for any branches or twigs that may be causing blockages. Also, make sure that the mortar and brick are remaining in good condition, as well as the flue, the flashing, and the chimney crown. The best option is to ask a professional to check up on everything. An expert will know exactly what to look for and knows the best way to approach any necessary fixes.
  • Burn Safely: When it comes to actually lighting a fire, be sure to only burn seasoned wood and to practice proper fire safety precautions. Always have someone keeping an eye on the fire, and be sure that it is put out completely when you are finished with it.

All of these steps will make your fireplace more suitable for use and will help in maintaining its overall structure. At Olde Town Chimney Sweeps we have all of the tools necessary for ensuring your chimney is in top shape. Our experts are standing by and will work hard to ensure that your home and family stay safe throughout the upcoming burning seasons. Give us a call today!

Start Off 2016 With A Chimney Inspection

It is no secret that a fireplace often offers an idyllic image to most homeowners. When temperatures are low, the perfect spot to be is curled up in front of a fire with friends or family. Yet, a cozy night indoors can quickly go wrong if you are not taking the proper steps to keep your chimney safe for use. It is essential to get your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once per year to ensure that your home and family are staying safe.

Avoid Chimney Fires

Start off 2016 with a chimney inspection - Gloucester VA - Olde town chimney sweeps

Avoiding fires in the home and chimney is the main reason why a professional inspection is so important. When you use your chimney, creosote and other debris start to build up. The more often you use it, the more these substances will accumulate. Creosote is known for being highly flammable and the more there is, the higher your chances are of experiencing unwanted fires. An expert will know exactly where and what to clean, while using the proper chemicals to do so.

How you use your fireplace and how you burn your wood can also affect how quickly creosote builds up. The way air moves through a chimney has a lot to do with how efficient your fire will burn, which then affects debris accumulation. A professional will be able to ensure that air is running correctly through the chimney and can advise you on the right techniques to use to start and maintain a proper fire.

Avoid Structural Damages

Cracks and holes can quickly accumulate in a chimney, making everything run much less efficiently. They could lead to water damage, which will be cause for costly repairs in the future. It also leaves opportunity for smoke and debris to escape into your home, causing further damage to your possessions. On top of this, structural damage affects the look of your chimney and may eventually lead to discoloration, both of which lower the home’s overall value.

On a more serious note, failure to keep chimneys in proper condition can eventually lead to their collapse. If a chimney collapses, your entire home and surrounding homes will suffer, as the heavy brick falls and crashes into whatever is in its path. This could also cause serious injury to anyone nearby. Avoid costly repairs and medical bills by getting an inspection before it is too late.

Avoid Health Issues

When a chimney is not regularly maintained, smoke cannot escape properly. Having nowhere else to go, the smoke will back up into your home spreading possibly harmful toxins throughout the house. Not to mention, all of the excess dirt and debris build-up allows for more exposure to allergens. If you or a family member is already sensitive to these things, keeping a clean chimney is essential.

Olde Town Chimney Sweeps has all the tools you need for maintaining a safe and clean fireplace. Give our experts a call today!

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