If you’ve noticed all of the rain that we have been getting lately then you know that we’re in the month of September and that the Fall season is upon us. If your home has a fireplace then you know that a little more maintenance will go into ensuring that your home and fireplace are both ready for the autumn.  

A regular chimney cleaning is the only way to make sure that your fireplace and chimney  work properly while avoiding a chimney fire (a noisy explosion in your chimney caused by creosote buildup).  While you most likely your last chimney cleaning last year; you’ll definitely have to get your chimney cleaned prior to lighting your first fire in the coming winter.

If you have the necessary rods and brushes you can climb up on your roof and get to work. But if you have a fear of heights or prefer not to climb up on the roof to inspect the chimney, you may just want to hire a professional chimney cleaner to get the job done.

A professional chimney cleaner will carefully place plastic sheeting in and around the fireplace in order to ensure that falling debris doesn’t enter the home.  He or she will then climb up on the roof and remove the chimney cap (assuming that your chimney has a cap) and perform a basic Level 1 inspection. The chimney technician will ensure the basic soundness of the structure and the flue as well as removing creosote that accumulates at the mouth of the chimney in order to ensure that the chimney is safe to use. They’ll also remove any soot that has dropped from that area as well. Unlike that car tune-up and oil change that you keep putting off an autumn chimney cleaning is important for your family’s safety and well-being.

Here are some other handy tips when using your fireplace :

  • You should burn seasoned woods that have been dried out for at least six months in order to avoid excess smoke. Burning seasoned wood also saves you money by reducing the amount of wood that you burn by as much as 25 percent. Properly seasoned wood permits more heat and less smoke.
  • Your wood should be split into pieces that are 4-6in in diameter since fires will burn better when more of the wood covers the surface area. A rule of thumb is to cut your wood three inches shorter than the firebox width or length which allows it to dry quicker.
  • Never burn cardboard boxes or trash, pressure-treated, painted wood, particleboard or plywood since they can be very dangerous and they can emit chemicals as well as spark a chimney fire.
  • When using a woodstove, installing stovepipe thermometers will help monitor flue temperatures; allowing you to adjust the temperature accordingly. You should keep your fire small and give it plenty of air. And don’t stuff your stove or leave it burning unattended; you might cause a fire.

As you can imagine, we’re starting to receive more phone calls from homeowners to schedule a chimney cleaning. The sooner you book an appointment at 281-491-0433, the quicker we can get out cleaning your chimney. PCS, providing Houstonians with professional chimney services for the more than 15 years.