When it comes to cold weather, the first thing that crosses our minds here at American Restoration Water and Fire, LLC is warmth. This comes in many forms, but when we picture warmth, it’s sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket while the fireplace is lit. It’s one of the things we all look forward to when the seasons change, but did you know that chimney fires account for nearly 25,000 home fires a year in the United States? Chimney fires result from flames from the lower chimney that can migrate upward and affect the higher-up metal chimney walls.
These types of fires are often preventable, and American Restoration Water and Fire, LLC wants to remind you of proper chimney care, taking these prevention steps before every cool weather season.
- Minimize Creosote Build Up: One of the leading causes and most preventable culprits in chimney fires is reducing the dark brown substance that builds up from by-products of the fire. To help minimize that creosote buildup, you can use wood that has been dried for at least six months and measure the moisture before burning it. You can purchase a moisture meter at your local hardware store or online.
- Schedule Annual Chimney Inspections: Some professional inspectors do this for a reason, to help prevent loss of property damage and life in these preventable chimney fires. These professional chimney sweeps have an eye for wear, and they will inform you of any repairs that need to take place before you start the fireplace.
- Cleaning Your Chimney Walls: One way to be extra cautious before using your fireplace is to get up on the roof and clean the chimney walls. A buildup of creosote that is at least ⅛” thick needs to be adequately cleaned. Hiring a chimney sweep for cleaning should cost as little as $100 or up to $350.
- Install A Chimney Cap: These metal crowns on the outside of your flue can help prevent debris like leaves and even small animals from getting into your chimney. When waste is in there, embers from your flames can travel toward the opening, and that tiny ember can cause a lot of unwanted damage.
- Use Clean Burning Techniques: Low and slow is NOT the way to go. Hot and fast-burning fires produce less smoke, don’t cause creosote buildup, and don’t leave as much unburned wood behind. American Restoration recommends you use the top-down burn method: place large logs vertically with a layer of kindling, then top add a layer of three to four large wood logs on top of that horizontally, and then a layer of tinder and start it!
Unlike your slow-burn fires, be sure to always extinguish the fire completely before heading off to bed. You can do this by spreading the fire out with your fire poker and then utilizing the ash lying under it to cover the logs. Another constructive tip to extinguish your fire is to sprinkle baking soda, sodium-bicarbonate over the top of the logs, and it will extinguish any remaining embers.
American Restoration Water and Fire, LLC are fire restoration experts. To learn more about how we can help restore your home to previous fire-damage glory, you can call us or visit us online here. Our team of fire restoration professionals will get to work as soon you call us to help mediate the process. For all your water and fire damage restoration needs, American Restoration Water and Fire, LLC is just a phone call away from getting your home back to being your home!