Our Company Blog

Start the Year Off with a Certified Chimney Inspection

In order for your fireplace and chimney to work efficiently and safely, you must take care of a few routine maintenance tasks. Included in these tasks is a chimney inspection performed by a certified chimney professional. Scheduling this service at the start of the year allows you to enjoy your fireplace without worrying about potential problems all year long. Weststar Chimney Sweeps is proud to offer chimney inspection services, and you can trust our chimney technicians to do the best job possible. All of our technicians have been trained and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to properly inspect chimneys. We would like to tell you why it is so important to have your chimney professionally inspected once a year.Certified Chimney Inspection - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps

Reduce the Risk of Chimney Fires

One of the things Weststar Chimney Sweeps looks for when inspecting chimneys is the amount of creosote deposits that have accumulated on the inner walls of your chimney. A large amount of creosote can be very dangerous as it is an extremely flammable compound. The CSIA has named creosote as the leading cause of chimney fires because it can easily ignite if the internal temperature of your chimney gets hot enough. Once we know how much creosote is inside your chimney, we can then make the best preparations for removing it by sweeping your chimney.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps will also check to see if anything like leaves, bricks, or other debris is blocking the flue of your chimney. When your flue is blocked by debris, it can cause the toxic gas carbon monoxide to be forced back into your home. Without a carbon monoxide detector alarm, you could be breathing in carbon monoxide without even knowing it since it is odorless and tasteless. If we do find a blockage, we will remove the debris to make your chimney vent properly and safely.

Prolong the Life of Your Chimney

During our inspection, we will be looking for damage that could cause your chimney to be unsafe to use. Our CSIA-certified sweeps will closely examine the condition of the bricks and mortar of your chimney, as well as its components, including the liner and damper. If we find any type of damage, we will document it and give you photographs of the damage, along with a written inspection report. We can also make recommendations for repairing any damage we find.

Start off the new year by making sure your chimney is in its best condition. Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to schedule an appointment for our certified chimney inspection services.

Proper Ash Removal

To keep your fireplace working properly, you must take care of it by performing a few routine maintenance tasks, and keeping the firebox clean is one of these tasks. When you are using your fireplace on a regular basis during the winter, you will need to remove ashes from the firebox every week or two. This task can pose a few safety issues, including accidental fires, so knowing how to dispose of ashes properly is very important. We place safety as our top priority at Weststar Chimney Sweeps, and we would like to share with you the best way of removing ashes from your firebox. Following these steps will allow you to safely remove ashes without any fire hazards.Ash Removal Best Practices - San Diego CA - Weststar Chimney Sweeps

Assemble your tools.

You will need a metal ash bucket that has a lid, an ash shovel, fire resistant gloves, and a face mask if you are concerned about inhaling ashes.

Allow the ashes to cool down.

We recommend waiting at least 24 hours after the fire has been extinguished before attempting to remove ashes. Sometimes, even 24 hours is not long enough to wait as ashes can burn slowly and smolder. This is why it is so important to know the proper procedure for removing ashes.

Scoop the ashes into the metal bucket.

Open up the fireplace screen and/or doors, and place your bucket in front of the firebox opening. Use your ash shovel to scoop up the ashes and place them in the bucket. If you come across any live embers, push them to the back of the firebox and cover them with a thin layer of ashes. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) actually recommends that you leave a one-inch layer of ashes on the firebox floor to help you build and maintain fires. This thin layer of ash can also protect the floor of your firebox.

Place the lid tightly on the bucket and store it outside of your home.

It is very important that you ensure that the lid fits tightly and completely seals the ashes inside the bucket. This will keep the ashes from spilling out if the bucket is knocked over by wind or something else accidentally. Additionally, there could be live embers or smoldering ashes within the bucket, and without a lid sealing the bucket, oxygen could reach those hot ashes to ignite a fire. It is also important to store this bucket outside on a non-combustible surface such as brick or concrete and away from dried leaves and firewood. If there are live embers or hot ashes inside the bucket, the heat could ignite anything combustible nearby.

Wait at least three days to throw your ashes away.

While you can always pour a bit of water inside the bucket to put out any live embers, it is best to wait three days before you place the ashes in your trash. If you have a garden, you can also sprinkle the ashes over your garden beds as well as work the ashes into your compost pile.

For more safety tips on maintaining your fireplace, contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps. We are more than happy to provide you with the best ways to safely enjoy your fireplace.

By Mike O'Mara on January 15th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment