The Chimney Sweepers Institute is not one to exaggerate the seriousness of chimney fires and their consequences. There are over 25,000 chimney fires per year in the US that are responsible for over 125 million dollars in property damage, and more importantly, they have been responsible for several deaths and injuries resulting from alarms that have fought too long and too hard against house fires. Today’s modern fireplaces are safer than those of the past. Still, it’s important to keep your chimney clean and in good working order so you don’t fall victim to a chimney fire.
You can smell it in the air in Pennsylvania; the pleasing aroma of burning wood. While most of us feel a touch of nostalgia about this pleasant odor, we really don’t give it much further thought. At ServiceMaster Fire & Water Clean Up we’re hoping you’re taking some simple precautions to avoid the potential need for fire damage restoration.
Chimney Fire Damage Tips
While making a connection between something as simple as burning some wood and fire damage may seem a little extreme, there’s no question that taking some simple steps now can help you avoid safety issues and far more serious headaches as the winter heating season begins in earnest.
Use a better cleaning method
If you only have enough wood for a small fire, try to make it as hot and fast as possible. This will burn off as much of the smoke, vapors, and unburned material as possible. To start a small fire, use split (dried) wood—it burns better than whole logs or wood chips. Add just one or two small pieces at a time until the fire is going well. Then add larger logs to keep the flames going strong.
Install A Chimney Cap
Keep your chimney clean with a cap. A chimney cap can prevent branches from falling down your chimney, and that means less fire risk. It also helps keep rainwater from corroding the flue base. The best time to install a chimney cap is at its initial construction, but adding one later will help protect against damage due to weather or other unwanted intrusions. Chimney Cap Installation Cap can range anywhere from $75 to $1,000 depending on the model and decoration.
A regular Chimney Cleaning
If you’re elbow-deep in a kitchen renovation and your home has no chimney crown, or if your chimney has multiple vents, we’re guessing it hasn’t been cleaned in more than a decade. If that’s the case, consider yourself to be in the same boat as about half of American homeowners. Clean your chimney when walls have layers of build-up and when it is dirty and smelly. When you add a fire to your fireplace, you are adding soot, smoke, and ash to the flue. If it collects in a layer on the wall, it will cause problems down the road. After a few tries, it may get difficult to remove this layer. It’s time for a cleaning. The good news? This cleaning will only cost you between $129 and $377 and an hour or so of your time. And if you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can even do it yourself with a few simple supplies from the hardware store.
An annual Chimney Check
An inspection and cleaning by a qualified professional will spot potential problems which could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or possibly something worse and the need for fire damage restoration.
Among the best preventative steps to take is to avoid creosote build-up in your chimney by carefully watching what you burn in your fireplace or wood stove.
Experts recommend using seasoned firewood that was split at least 6 months to a year before. Also, avoid burning Christmas trees or treated wood.
There are plenty of other dangers to be wary of when it comes to heating or merely enjoying a fire during the colder months of the year, but even if the worst should happen, your ServiceMaster pros are ready to help with fire damage restoration.
We know how to bring order to the chaos that follows an unexpected fire.
We don’t put the flames out, but we’ve got the recovery plan to get things back in order fast after a fire leaves you with a soggy, charred mess and wondering just how you’ll ever get rid of that awful smell.
It’s all a part of our fire damage restoration process, and we promise to bring the latest and best techniques to your home or business should disaster strike.
Professional Fire Restoration
Please be safe when using your fireplace or wood stove this winter, and if you need fire damage restoration services in Pennsylvania it won’t take long for you to realize why we’re the best at what we do in the Lancaster and York county areas.
Simply contact us at (717) 299-2261. No matter what time it is, ServiceMaster Fire & Water Clean Up is ready to offer you peace of mind 24/7/365.