If you have a fireplace in your home that you plan to use during the winter for the first time, it is important to have it inspected before you begin to use it. It is best to hire a professional chimney inspector to come and inspect the chimney for you to make sure it is in great working order. The following guide walks you through a few ways that chimney inspections can ensure you are able to easily burn great fires this winter.
Inspect the Chimney for Cracks
The inspector will take the time to inspect the chimney from top to bottom to see if there are any cracks in the chimney. Cracks will need to be repaired before you start using the chimney so that no smoke comes into the home and so the cracks do not become larger when the winter weather hits and the bricks start to change size due to the cold weather.
Inspect the Chimney for Soot Buildup
When a chimney is used a lot, soot can build up inside of the flue and create a very dangerous situation. When the smoke cannot easily get out of the chimney because of soot buildup, it can lead to smoke coming back into the home which can then lead to your family breathing in air that could be toxic to them. The inspector will be able to not only inspect the chimney for you but also clean it out if the soot buildup is bad enough that it needs to be addressed.
Inspect the Chimney for Obstructions
The inspector will also inspect the chimney to make sure that there are no obstructions inside of it. During the warmer months of the year, there are times when animals, such as squirrels and birds make nests inside of chimneys. When this happens, it can block the opening in the chimney and create a very dangerous situation. The inspector will be able to detect the obstructions and remove them with ease.
When the inspection is complete and the chimney has been cleared for use, talk to the inspector about tips to use when you start burning fires in the fireplace. If you have never made a fire before, he or she may be able to walk you through the process of safely starting your first fire, how to remove soot and ash from the fireplace, and prepare for what to do if the fire gets out of hand. These tips could prove to be vital when the cold weather hits.