Every year in the United States, there are over 25,000 chimney fires. While not all of them lead to severe damage to the rest of the home, some of them leave people without a place to live at all. The good news is that there are many small ways that you can decrease the chances of having a chimney fire at your home.
What Leads to Chimney Fires?
Before you can prevent a chimney fire, it’s important to understand what the root causes of them are. One of the biggest causes is creosote accumulation. Creosote is a natural byproduct of using your chimney, although certain types of wood and behaviors can lead to more rapid accumulation. Creosote looks like a deep brown or black substance coating the inside of the chimney that can look sticky, hard, or crusty depending on how much there is and how old it is.
Chimney Cleaning and Inspection
Having an annual chimney inspection and cleaning is critical, and it’s one of the easiest ways to prevent chimney fires at your home. Beyond ensuring that you are as safe as possible, your chimney sweep will also be able to help answer any questions that you have. Not sure what type of wood is best for your needs? We can help! Are you curious about whether or not your chimney might need repairs in the next year or two? We can also answer your questions!
Use Clean-Burning Woods
Burning a ‘clean’ fire is also critical. All wood that you burn in your fireplace should be seasoned, or allowed to completely dry for at least a year. Always keep firewood stored outside covered up so that it will not become wet or damp. Choose hardwoods over softwoods, as they are more likely to burn cleanly.
What do you use to start your fire in the fireplace? Many families use things like newspaper or magazine pages. However, using glossy paper, cardboard, or wrapping paper can release toxic chemicals into the air and into your chimney. Additionally, do not place paper on top of the fire when you are burning it. Instead, you should put it underneath the grate.
Stay Cozy and Safe This Winter with Clean Sweep Maryland
Call Clean Sweep Maryland today at 410-558-1111 for professional chimney sweep, slate roofing and duct cleaning services designed to keep all your listed properties clean and safe for sellers and buyers. If you are a prospective home buyer or home seller in need of chimney inspection or repairs, we are here to help.