When you think of a chimney, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a fireplace. Gathering in front of a cozy fireplace, listening to the crackle of the fire and feeling its warmth is so soothing and relaxing. However, while a fireplace is comforting and enjoyable, it also has the potential to be very dangerous.
Though a fireplace is meant to contain a fire, it is important to remember that fire is always unpredictable; no matter how contained you think it may be. The capriciousness of fire can make a fireplace exceedingly dangerous, especially when it is not properly taken care of. When it comes to fire safety, knowledge is power. To ensure that your fireplace is as safe as possible, here is a look at some frequently asked questions – and answers – regarding fireplace and chimney safety.
Q: How often should I have my fireplace and chimney cleaned and inspected?
A: According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, chimneys should be inspected and cleaned once a year. Annual cleanings and inspections of the fireplace and chimney will identify any potential problems, and will rid the chimney of creosote buildup.
Many homeowners are unaware of the existence of problems in their chimney or fireplace. An inspection performed by a reputable company that specializes in chimney service Long Island will alert you of any problems, and will allow you to have those problems repaired.
Q: When should I have my chimney and fireplace cleaned and serviced?
A: Late spring or early summer is the ideal time to have a chimney service Long Island clean and service your fireplace and chimney. This time of year marks the end of the heating season, which means that you won’t be using your fireplace as much, if at all, making it an ideal time to rid the chimney of the dangerous combustible byproducts that have built up during the previous heating season. This is also the perfect time to identify any issues with your chimney and/or fireplace, and have them repaired before the start of the next heating season.
Q: Will cleaning the fireplace and chimney make a mess?
A: No, not if you hire a reputable, experienced and professional chimney service Long Island that specializes in cleaning fireplaces and chimneys. Uniformed technicians will put clean floor coverings around the fireplace and the hearth to catch any debris. The floor coverings will be removed from the area upon the completion of cleaning. Specialized tools and cutting edge technologies will be used to perform the cleaning, including vacuums that will prevent dust and soot from entering your home. The chimney will be cleaned from the bottom -up, starting with the fireplace, then moving to the firebox, the smoke chamber, the damper, the smoke shelf, and finally, the flue liner.
A reputable chimney service Long Island will never make a mess; the only thing they should leave behind is a clean fireplace and chimney.
Q: What types of things should a chimney service Long Island do when inspecting and cleaning my fireplace and chimney?
A: A company that specializes in chimney service Long Island should do the following when inspecting and cleaning your fireplace and chimney:
If any signs of damage are identified, the chimney service Long Island should make sure that you are aware of this damage so that it can be properly repaired.
Q: What is creosote?
A: Creosote is a carbonaceous chemical that forms as a result of the byproducts of combustion. It contains hundreds of chemicals, some of which are extremely dangerous, such as tar and carbon gasses. Creosote builds up in a chimney with every fire that is lit. The smoke from the fire contains steam and unburned, yet vaporized carbon by-products. As smoke exhausts from the fireplace, it moves upward into the flue. Since the flue is much cooler than the smoke, the smoke condenses, and as it cools, it solidifies and builds up inside the flue.
Creosote is highly flammable, and when a thick enough layer forms (1/8 of an inch or more,) it can potentially ignite, resulting in a dangerous chimney fire. In order to remove dangerous creosote buildup and ensure your fireplace and chimney are safe to use, having your chimney cleaned once a year by a chimney service Long Island that specializes in chimney sweeping is extremely important.
Q: What is a damper and why is it important?
A: Many fireplace owners do not know why a damper is important, or what it is, for that matter. The damper is the metal door that is located right above the firebox. It should be closed when the fireplace is not in use, as it prevents the cold air that comes through the chimney from entering your home.
When the fireplace is in us, make sure that the damper is fully open. If it is not open, or only partially opened, it will cause smoke from the fire to pour back into your house, instead of exhausting through the chimney. Over time, a damper can become rusted or otherwise damaged, which can cause serious problems, which is why a company that offers chimney service Long Island should thoroughly inspect the damper to ensure that it is working properly. If the damper does not work properly, it is not in the proper location or it is otherwise damaged, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible.
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Even just calling for a quote to repair the chimney cap was a surprisingly pleasant experience that showed how professional they are.