Each year, reports on chimney fires tally up to 25,000 in the United States, with property damage amounting to more than a whopping $125 million. The common culprits?Burning of unseasoned wet wood, overnight burning, improper appliance sizing, and the infrequent cleaning.
The frequency of how often you must call a chimney sweep Reston VA is heavily dependent on the type of material you use or burn. According to experts, you must clean once a year if you burn oil, gas, or smokeless coals. If it’s bituminous coal, you’d have to do it bi-annually. If it’s wood, the cleaning should be accomplished every quarter.
In this article, we’re giving you a total of nine tips on how to avoid chimney fire:
Regularly clean. As mentioned, one of the best ways to prevent chimney fire is to make sure your chimney is regularly cleaned. Hiring a chimney sweep Reston VA will help prevent creosote (the thick brownish oil distilled from tar) from building up and clogging up your chimney.
Use dry wood. Burning wet wood is a huge reason why chimney fires happen. They lead to faster creosote build-up, they burn longer, and they give off more smoke. Using a moisture meter, make sure that the wood you will be using has a moisture content not exceeding 17 percent.
Use safe fire starters. You should only use hardwood and duly-approved logs on your fireplace — never use highly flammable stuff like gasoline and kerosene. For kindling, it’s safer to use dried twigs and branches.
Know and utilize clean-burning techniques. One popular technique is the top-down burn method, in which large logs are vertically placed at the bottom, then added with four horizontal layers on top for kindling. Tinder and light sit on the very top. Also make sure that before you sleep, any fire is extinguished.
Invest in creosote removers. There are commercially available products that help reduce creosote buildup. Just see to it that you follow the manufacturers’ instructions to ensure safety and effectivity.
Ensure you have the correct size appliance. If it’s too large, it will take up way more fuel within the wood you’re burning.
Insulate your chimney’s flue liner. This layer between our four and chimney walls can be insulated by installing a heat-resistant insulation blanket, or by pouring an insulation mix.
Install a chimney cap. This will help prevent leaves and animal nests from getting into your chimney. These things will speed the burning up once chimney fire starts.
Schedule a regular chimney inspection. Get help from the experts and tap their knowledge in inspecting the safety of your property. They have the right tools as well to check if your chimney is already a fire hazard.
Why Hiring Pros Matter
It’s important to take note that a clean chimney does not catch fire. Time and again, experts have put clear emphasis that regular cleaning should be done. However, it will be to your advantage if you tap a professional chimney sweep Reston VA when you do this one.
Apart from the know-how and the tools, their experience will be significantly helpful in ensuring the cleanliness — and safety — of your chimneys. Chimneys and other venting systems are rather complex, that’s why it’s more efficient, time-saving and more cost-effective if you get professional help.
JCS Home Services is a licensed and insured chimney sweep Reston VA company. Contact us today to learn more about our services.