Chimney Care and Maintenance for New Homeowners

Everything You Need to Know About Fireplace CareChimneys need to be kept clean and well-maintained in order to remain functional. If you're a homeowner - especially a first-time home buyer, here's what you need to know about caring for your chimney.

What Tools to Buy

In order to use a fireplace properly, homeowners must have certain tools available to them. Without these tools, cleaning the fireplace and burning a proper fire can become a challenge. Tools to buy include:

  • Fireplace poker. This makes it easy to shift logs around in the firebox, so you can keep a fire burning or separate logs to put a fire out.
  • Shovel. Fireplace shovels are useful for scooping out ashes after a fire has died.
  • Brush. A fireplace brush is an excellent tool for clearing soot out of the firebox, which should be done on a regular basis.
  • Ash bucket. Fireplace ash should be put in a non-melting, metal bucket while it cools.

Having these tools on hand will help homeowners burn hotter, cleaner fires while also keeping the fireplace relatively clean.

What Wood to Burn

Seasoned firewood is wood that is fully dry and easy to burn. This is the only type of firewood that should be burned in a fireplace. Green wood, or wood that has not been seasoned, contains water. When green wood is burned in a fireplace, it will produce a relatively cool fire with a lot of smoke.

This contributes to a buildup of creosote in the chimney. Creosote is a smelly, sticky, tar-like substance that is highly flammable. A buildup of creosote is dangerous, because it's a fire hazard. Burning the right wood can help homeowners avoid this problem.

Chimney Maintenance Basics

Any chimney that's being used on a regular basis should be cleaned at least annually. Some chimneys get used so much they need to be cleaned more often. Even if a homeowner only uses their chimney occasionally, it's still a good idea to have a chimney cleaning expert inspect the chimney on an annual basis. Birds can build nests in chimneys, so getting inspections can help prevent fires and smokey messes.

During the annual inspection, the chimney contractor will check for a buildup of creosote, inform the homeowner if the chimney should be cleaned, and alert the homeowner to any repairs that need to happen.

Maintain Your Chimney to Maintain Your Property Value

If you're a Minneapolis homeowner who would like to maintain your property's value, work with a professional chimney contractor to ensure that your home's chimney is in good condition. Getting your chimney cleaned and repaired when it's needed can help you avoid a fire that could destroy your house.

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