If you use your fireplace regularly, you will need to keep your chimney in good working condition. Here are some tips that will help you with that.
Have Your Chimney Cleaned At Least Once a Year
The best way to keep your chimney in good shape is to have it cleaned out at least once a year. If you use your fireplace regularly during the winter, you might want to consider having it cleaned twice a year. In any case, there are plenty of chimney sweeps that will be able to clean out your chimney. Simply search for “chimney sweep Maryland” on Google to find a good chimney sweep near you.
Clean Your Fireplace
Although you can’t really sweep out your own chimney without some professional help, you can at least clean your fireplace. Before you light a fire in your fireplace, clean as much of the soot and ash from your firebox as you can, especially if you haven’t used the fireplace in a while.
Look for Signs of Damage
You probably shouldn’t be climbing onto your roof to get a close look at your chimney, but there are ways to check for damage without risking a serious injury. First of all, look at the chimney close to the ground. If you see brick flaking away or some white residue, you might have excessive moisture in your chimney’s masonry. This can cause a lot of damage if it’s allowed to go unchecked. You might also see other signs of damage such as deteriorating mortar joints, rust in your damper or firebox, or loose bricks. All of these are indicators that you will need to have your chimney repaired sooner rather than later.
Even though these are the best ways to keep your fireplace and chimney in good working order, there are other things you can do as well. First of all, never overload your fireplace with too much wood. It is possible to have a fire that is too big to be contained. Second, always use a spark guard screen to keep your fire contained safely within your firebox. You don’t want to start a house fire because a spark or ember flew out onto a carpet or wall.