FAQs & Best Practices
The following articles answer frequently asked questions and provide best practices when using and maintaining your chimney, fireplace, or heating and cooling appliances.
Store your firewood outside at least 20 feet away from your house on a concrete slab, asphalt, or even a tarp. Keep the firewood covered but allow for airflow so the firewood can dry out. Wet wood not only burns inefficiently but can lead to greater creosote buildup in the chimney flue.
Read Full Answer
The best way to keep your chimney and fireplace bug-free is with a chimney cap or damper. You should also seal any cracks or gaps and clean your chimney regularly along with the hearth area. Additionally, maintaining your home's exterior and properly storing firewood will keep the bugs at bay.
Before disposing of fireplace ash, first allow the ashes to cool completely. Then dispose of them in the trash, in your garden, or compost bin. However, there are other creative ways to use the ash such as pest control or as an alternative to salt to de-ice your walkway.
In order to know if something is wrong with your chimney, check for visible damage, interior issues, performance issues, or water damage. These issues can be caused by the weather, poor maintenance, or improper construction or repairs of the chimney.
You can prevent fires when disposing of ash by allowing the ash to cool completely and use a metal container with a tight-fitting lid to contain the ash. Use proper ash shovels and brushes to transfer the ash and store them at least 10 feet away from your home.
If you have the tools and skills necessary to clean your own chimney then you may clean your own chimney without concern. However, you should keep in mind the risks associated with cleaning your own chimney such as chimney damage and increased risks of house fires.
If your flue is stuck, you can get it open by following a few simple steps. Start by lubricating the mechanism with silicon spray such as WD-40, then begin to apply gentle force in attempting to open the flue. Finally, if necessary, remove any obstructions that may be blocking your flue.
In order to determine if the leaks in your basement are coming from your chimney, you should look for signs of chimney damage. Some of these signs include moisture around the fireplace, water stains on the ceiling, a musty smell, deterioration of the chimney structure.
Installing a stainless chimney liner is a great option. They are safe, energy efficient, affordable, and last a long time. However, it’s best to consult a professional to assess your current chimney and discuss your options in order to make the best decision.
You can paint the brick on your chimney or fireplace. Painting brick can be a great way to improve the overall aesthetic of your home. However, you should consider the pros and cons as well as the alternative options and follow proper procedures for the best results.