Inside this issue: Aardvark Residential and Commercial Services Inc.
National Chimney Safety Week September 25th 2011 thru October 1st 2011
Chimney season is here and so is The National Chimney Safety Week. In this issue there is really good information about why Chimney Inspections are critical. I have also included a Q&A section; this might answer some questions about typical chimney maintenance. I have also included a section for chimney facts. Hope everyone has a great week. Don’t forget to check out our FACEBOOK page.
‘Cocooning’ Increases the Importance of Chimney Inspections
(ARA) – As Americans find peace of mind at home "cocooning" with family this fall and winter, many will be enjoying the comfort of a warm fire. However, homeowners planning to make good use of their fireplaces this season should consider some simple maintenance procedures, including a chimney inspection.
"A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up," states Ashley Eldridge, director of education at the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). "Its preventative maintenance that helps minimizes potential hazards. Sometimes, maintenance requires extra diligence. That's the case this year."
To reduce the risk of chimney fires, the CSIA cautions people that might be increasing their fireplace use in the fall and winter to put a chimney inspection at the top of their home improvement list. This caution is primarily directed at people who might increase their wood-burning fireplace usage from an occasional fire to a weekly activity. According to Eldridge, people who use fireplaces infrequently tend to be less informed about the important role that the chimney plays in exhausting the hot gases and smoke from a fire. When a chimney has creosote build-up, or is obstructed by a bird's nest or debris, it has the potential to catch fire and cause damage.
This impact is demonstrated by recent statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to the CPSC there were 18,300 residential fires in the
In addition to an annual inspection, the CSIA recommends these tips for reducing the threat of a chimney fire:
* Add a chimney cap to the top of your chimney. A cap can keep out damaging moisture, which wears away masonry and other metal components within a chimney.
* Ensure that your chimney has an appropriate liner. Chimney liners are required in new construction to separate system emissions from the structure of your home.
* Have chimney flashing (the seal between the chimney and the roof) inspected and maintained. Flashing prevents rain water and snow melt from entering a house and causing costly damage to walls and ceilings.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also recommends that all chimneys be inspected on an annual basis to prevent chimney fires. The CSIA adds that the best choice for a professional is a sweep certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
Each fall, CSIA-certified chimney sweeps work together to raise awareness of chimney safety during National Chimney Safety Week, which begins this year on Sept. 29 and runs through Oct.
Q: When is the best time to have a fireplace & chimney cleaned?
A: Normally, I would say as soon as the burning season is over in April or May. The reason for this is simple; have it cleaned immediately so that you won’t have the smells of a dirty fireplace all spring & summer long. You are going to have it cleaned anyway before the burning season, so why not have the additional benefit of a clean fireplace & chimney for six-extra months for the same money. The exception to this would be if you are having a draft problem or strong smells caused by your fireplace. In this situation, put out your fire immediately & Aardvark, remember, “If your chimneys’ sick, we’ll be there quick!”
Q: I heat with gas, should this chimney be checked also?
A: Yes, without a doubt. Although gas is generally a cleaner burning fuel, the chimney cap can become non-functional from birds nests or other debris blocking the flue. Also, remember burning wood unlike gas, you will smell smoke, with gas carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and laughing gas is odorless giving you no warning at all. You should definitely have a professional chimney cleaning done at least once a year (with most fireplace and chimney systems once will be sufficient).
Q: My fireplace sometimes smells, especially during the summer when it is hot and humid. Can this be fixed?
A: This smell, which can be described as stale campfire smell, comes from a flow reversal “downdraft” that is common when it is hot and humid. You can reduce your smell by having your system inspected and swept. The damper system will also be tuned to ensure a proper fit.
Thanks everyone for checking out our Newsletter !!!! Hope you have enjoyed reading it and I hope it has answered some unanswered questions some may have. Check back every week for our newsletter. I will blog on Wednesdays to let you know what is going to be in the next week newsletter! Hope everyone has an AWESOME week and don’t forget to get those Chimneys inspected this coming week!
Aardvark Residential and Commercial Services Inc.
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