One of the ways of keeping your chimney in top shape is by regularly inspecting it. When you undertake chimney inspection you are able to identify even the most minor issues when they are in their initial stages.
The inspection also gives you peace of mind as you know that your chimney is functioning optimally. When inspecting the unit, you need to consider a number of tips:
Inspect the chimney regularly
As mentioned above, you need to inspect your chimney regularly. At a minimum, you should inspect your chimney once a year. The best time of doing it is at the beginning of the heating season.
You should inspect the chimney regardless of whether you have been using it or not. Some people have the notion that they don’t need to inspect the unit especially if they haven’t been using it for a long time.
You should note that even if the chimney might not be having soot, birds and animals might have built nests in it, which compromises the integrity of the chimney. When the chimney is blocked by nests or dead animals, carbon monoxide doesn’t leave the house, which compromises your safety and that of your loved ones.
Even if you just moved to a new house, you should inspect the fireplace and if there are any issues with it, fix them.
It’s recommended that you inspect the chimney once a year, but this doesn’t prevent you from inspecting it more often. You should do it more often especially if you are using the fireplace every day.
Undertake thorough inspection
When you have made the decision to inspect the chimney, you should not half-ass it—you need to inspect it thoroughly. For you to do it you need to have all the necessary inspection tools. These include: ladder, wire brush, drop cloth, flashlight, extension cord, safety glasses, dust mask, and any other thing that you might need.
The best time to clean the chimney is when it’s cool. You can clean it at any time, as long as the fireplace is cool.
When undertaking the inspection, you should inspect all angles. This calls for you to inspect it from the top and bottom. To access the roof, you need to use a ladder.
Understand your needs
What will you be looking for when undertaking the inspection? You need to know this as you can’t go at it blindly. One of the areas that you should pay close attention to is the flue liner. It’s made from clay, metal, or concrete.
If the flue is made from clay or concrete, you should be on the lookout for cracks. These cracks hold soot and other flammable materials that put the chimney at the risk of catching fire.
If your flue is made from metal, check for signs of warping.
You also should be on the lookout for signs of smoke escaping through the liners or joints. Finally, pay attention to the creosote levels. Creosote is what remains behind after fire. If a lot of creosote is left behind, your chimney is at great risk of catching fire which puts your life and your loved ones at risk.
Clean the chimney if possible
When you are inspecting the chimney, you might find it too dirty. In such a case, you have no way out other than to clean it. When cleaning it, you should use the right equipment such as wire brush and any others that you might need.
Work with a certified professional
If you have the skills you should inspect and clean the chimney by yourself, but if you don’t have the skills or necessary tools, you should hire an experienced chimney sweep Bowie to help you out.
One of the most important things you should look out for when hiring is a certification from the chimney safety institute of America.
It’s also wise to work with an experienced company. The best way of telling that the company is experienced is to be on the lookout for reviews. Pay attention to both the online and offline reviews.
You shouldn’t be satisfied with seeing the reviews. You should reach out to the different people and hear their input. Ask them whether they were satisfied with their experience with the cleaning company.