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Look after your chimney

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With the cold weather truly settled in, we turn to our fireplaces for a little extra warmth. If you have the joy of a wood-burning fire then make sure to look after it properly. We chat to Ash from Ash Chimney Sweeps about how to maintain your fireplace.

How often should a chimney be cleaned?

The Ontario fire marshals bylaw states that a chimney should be inspected annually, cleaned as necessary, after a chimney fire or with the addition of an appliance. The industry standard is after approximately 50 uses with proper firewood.

What can we do as homeowners to maintain the chimney? 

Use proper fuel which means well-seasoned (dry) firewood. Only burn clean firewood.

Are there any signs we should be looking for that could indicate the chimney needs to be cleaned/inspected? 

If you find soot falling down when opening or closing the damper, that could indicate a cleaning is needed. Smells coming from the fireplace is also a bad sign.

What are the common problems?

Rain and snow going down the chimney causing freeze thaw damage and rust. Birds, squirrels or raccoons entering the chimney to nest or have their young.

How are they resolved?

A properly sized stainless steel chimney cover installed to stop rain and animals, but allow the customer to use the chimney.

If in doubt, call a professional to inspect your chimney. 

By Sarah Hoy

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