Chimney Maintenance

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Tuesday December 2, 2014 at 10:50am

Prepare your chimney for winter

Log basketAs winter looms closer and the evenings are feeling more chilly, you may have had the heating back on full blast again. Perhaps you have even thought about lighting the fire once again. Or is this the year you will have a fireplace installed or upgraded. The beauty of wood or coal is the traditional vision of a roaring log fire that it provides. Snuggle with the family on a cold winter’s day, throw a few logs on the fire, and become mesmerised by the crackle and blaze of the flames that ensue. Or you could opt for a gas or electric fire for instant gratification and reduced maintenance.

With an array of modern finishes, there is a choice of style and finish to suit most decors. Whichever you choose, a fireplace can be a beautiful focal point for any living room, as well as an effective addition to the home during the winter. However, one must consider the ongoing maintenance of any fireplace, and most importantly is chimney maintenance. While most of us have visions of Bert and the soot covered children in Mary Poppins, the reality and importance of hiring a skilled professional chimney sweep is essential even in modern homes today.

When should you have your chimney swept:

After the summer for example, when there has been a prolonged period of time when it has not been in use. It may also be advisable to have the flue cleaned before the end of the heating season in case of nesting birds or other creatures.

Why should you have a chimney swept:

Not only will a professional clear blockages, a fully trained chimney sweep will have the expertise to notice additional problems such as freeze-thaw weathering, inadequate ventilation, down-draughts, cracks, or tar build-up.

Warning signs:
A fire that is burning more slowly than usual can be sign of a partially blocked chimney, or the presence of smoke in the room indicates a blockage problem that needs closer inspection.

What about gas fires:
It’s not just log fires that need the chimneys preparing for the winter use. Blocked chimneys can lead to a dangerous build up carbon monoxide where gas fires are used. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous and odourless poison that kills around 50 people a year in the UK.

Be warm but be safe this winter. And why not choose from one of Wovenhill's many wicker and rattan log baskets to store, carry and display your logs and tinder.
» Categories: Around the Home, Winter


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