A chimney sweep inspection, including cleaning and inspecting your chimney flue, should be done regularly to prevent chimney fires.
Even if tenants don’t regularly use the fireplace, it’s best to have a chimney sweep check at least once a year to avoid preventable damage.
Annual chimney maintenance removes flammable creosote, the major cause of chimney fires, and identifies other performance problems.
Creosote is a natural byproduct of burning wood. As fireplaces get used, the more likely it is that your fireplace venting can become impaired. In addition to being a fire hazard, creosote build-up can also lead to harmful smoke coming inside the building.
Even if you don’t burn much, these inspections will ensure that your chimney is safe to use.
4 things you should do during a chimney inspection
- Have the chimney caps checked: Chimney caps protect your fireplace from rain, animals and debris. These caps can also protect your roof and reduce fire risk by trapping embers and sparks. If you don’t have a cap, or notice that it is loose or needs to be replaced, be sure it gets done during a chimney sweep with a maintenance professional.
- Schedule follow-up inspections: Every tenant and building has different burning habits. If the chimney is used often at your property, be sure to schedule more than one yearly inspection. Chimneys can be checked and cleaned at any time of the year.
- Encourage responsible use: Tenants should only burn dry, cured wood. Other treated wood releases chemicals into your building, compromising your air quality. For a safe fire, build it slowly, only adding more wood as the heat decreases. Educate tenants on proper fireplace use to avoid safety issues.
- Boost efficiency: When the fireplace is not being used, make sure tenants close their dampers to prevent heat loss. Replace any poorly sealing dampers during your chimney inspection and cleaning appointment.
This maintenance tip provided by Keepe.com.