3 Tips for Keeping Your Chimney Clean

Posted on: February 16, 2018 by in Home Inspection, Home Inspector, NY, Twin Tiers
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Advice for New Home Owners From Your Twin Tiers Home Inspector: 3 Tips for Keeping Your Chimney Clean

Here at Precision Home Inspection, we can’t help but notice that we inspect a lot of Twin Tiers homes with chimneys and fireplaces. There’s nothing better than settling in on a cold winter night in front of the fire. Still, it’s our job to be sure that your chimney and fireplace are safe for you and your family.

It all starts when we get on top of the roof, or inspect your chimney from the ground through pictures. We’re checking to make sure everything is sealed and installed properly. Once we make it inside, if you have a fireplace, we get to take a closer look. If your fireplace needs repairing or cleaning, we’ll be the first ones to tell you about it.

After you’ve owned your home for a while, you might not think too much about keeping your chimney or your fireplace clean. If you’re not careful, this could eventually result in a fire. We want to help you avoid this, so here are our tips on keeping your chimney clean.

Tip #1: Look for Signs of a Problem

If you’re a new homeowner in the Twin Tiers, you might not know the signs you should be looking for. Sometimes you might smell burned wood odors coming from your fireplace when it’s not in use. When you do light a fire, it might not burn well. It could also result in a lot of smoke filling the room.

Make sure you’re also checking the damper to see if it’s black. If it is, that means it’s caked with creosote. If you reach inside and pull out black gunk, it’s time to clean your chimney.

Tip #2: Consider Hiring a Chimney Sweep

If you’ve never cleaned a chimney before, you might not do a good enough job. It’s also possible that you could hurt yourself, or miss something critical. A chimney sweep is your best bet, and it’s good to clean it once a year. Most people will aim to clean it in the fall to be sure anything that could have gotten into the chimney during the summer months is removed.

Tip #3: Get the Proper Equipment for Do-It-Yourself Cleaning

If you insist on attempting to clean your chimney yourself, you’ll need the following:

  • A ladder to climb onto your roof
  • An old sheet to cover the opening to the fireplace
  • Duct tape to hold the sheet in place
  • A vacuum cleaner that has a crevice attachment (they even make vacuums specifically for cleaning chimneys)
  • A chimney rod and brushes
  • A cleaning brush with stiff bristles
  • Gear to protect your eyes, face and hands
  • Old clothes
  • A flashlight

It can take some time to clean a chimney; especially if you’ve never done it before. However, it’s time well spent if it keeps your home and your family safe.

When you choose Precision Home Inspection, you can be sure we care about you and your new home. We’ll let you know if we see anything that might need your immediate attention. To us, it’s not about meeting the guidelines set in place by the bank. We inspect because we care.

If you need to set up a home inspection in the Twin Tiers area for your new home, please contact us for an appointment!