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Contractors Keep Us Sheltered

Look up at the ceiling over your head, and also think about the roof above it. You are lucky to have that shelter. Of course, you worked hard to afford it, but that point aside — someone else worked really hard to build it. Our point here is that without construction workers and contractors, we would not have homes in which to live. We all value our homes, and of course, we value the other buildings we spend time in, too. Everyone has a different way of showing their appreciation for this work. Our way is to write about construction on this blog. Your way could be reading about construction on this same blog!


Contractors Keep Us Sheltered

Have a Wood Burning Fireplace in Your Home? Hire a Chimney Sweep to Keep It Safe

by Glenda Perkins

If you use a wood-burning fireplace in your home, you need to make sure you keep it maintained properly. If you do not, you could have a chimney fire or other type of house fire. One thing you can do to ensure safety is to hire a chimney sweep. Below is information on how this works.  

Hire a Chimney Sweep

One of the most important things to keep clean with your fireplace is the chimney. As you burn a fire in the fireplace, the smoke and fumes rise up through the chimney to the outside. Over time, this smoke and fumes can cause soot to build up on the walls inside the chimney. A substance known as creosote can also build up. Creosote is dangerous as it can easily catch on fire. It can also be difficult to remove as it is sticky and thick like tar.  

The easiest way to clean a chimney is to hire a chimney sweep. They have long poles with stiff wire brushes to scrape inside the chimney. The chimney sweep will place a drop cloth inside your home so soot and other debris will fall on it and not on your carpeting, flooring, etc. They use a shop vac to sweep everything when they are finished. 

The chimney sweep may start from the top down or the bottom up to scrape the chimney. While the chimney sweep is there, they will also find any critters that may have set up home inside your chimney and remove them. You could have a bird's nest or squirrels in the chimney. The contractor will also check the chimney cap to make sure it is in good condition and intact. If not, they will replace it with a new one. 

How to Get Ready for the Chimney Sweep

Once you contact the chimney sweep, they will appreciate it if you get your home ready for them. Make sure they have easy access to the fireplace. You may have to move furniture out of the way. They need enough room to place the drop cloth, as well as enough room for their equipment if they are cleaning the chimney from the bottom up. 

If you have pets put them up while the chimney sweep is there and keep children away from the area. Contact the chimney sweep you hire, and they can give you tips on getting your home ready for their arrival. 

A chimney sweep can give you many more tips on keeping your fireplace safe, such as checking the damper, checking for creosote regularly, and installing a fireplace guard if you do not have one.