September Home Maintenance To-Do List
By: Danny Lipford
To-Do #3: Inspect and Clean Fireplace and Chimney
Cold weather’s coming, which means warming up next to a cozy fireplace is on the way! Before lighting a fire in your fireplace, it’s a good idea to have a chimney sweep inspect the fireplace and chimney and clean it if needed.
Make sure the chimney sweep is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. Even better, look for someone who’s a F.I.R.E. (Fireplace Investigation, Repair, and Education) Certified Inspector. That way you can feel confident the person is qualified to assess and repair both chimney and fireplace problems and also to spot potential fire dangers in and around the unit.
Fireplace inspections should be done every year, as well as when purchasing a home, especially if you don’t know the condition of the fireplace.
After performing the inspection, the chimney sweep will make recommendations for repair or cleaning. Generally, chimneys should be cleaned when the creosote buildup reaches 1/4″ or more.