How To Stay Ahead Of Your Fireplace And Chimney Maintenance

Chimney Inspection In Manchester, NHWhile you’re sitting back and warming up to the glow of a burning fire in the fireplace, ash, soot, and other debris is collecting in the chimney. While cleaning is not a chore that everyone likes to do, keeping the fireplace clean in between professional cleanings can minimize health and safety risks. It can also help prevent premature wear and tear that lead to more expensive repairs. Here are a few tips to stay ahead of your fireplace and chimney maintenance.

Inspect for Masonry Damage

Masonry chimneys are built with porous materials, and freezing winter nights and warm days can eventually cause masonry cracks. Walk around the chimney exterior periodically throughout the year and check for damaged or cracked bricks, gaps in the mortar joints, and pieces of brick and mortar on the ground at the base of the chimney. Contact a chimney professional as soon as possible to repair any damage. Even minor damage should be repaired quickly to prevent further damage and more expensive repairs later.

Keep the Fireplace Clean

Maintaining a clean fireplace can minimize repairs. The ashes from burning wood that continues to collect in the fireplace can attract moisture. Moisture is the Achilles heel to a fireplace and chimney. It softens the masonry causing the bricks to crumble, increasing the risk of fire and exposure to carbon monoxide fumes. After the fire burns out and the ashes are cool, sweep the ashes into a metal container for disposal or recycle in your garden. When burning firewood, a one to two-inch layer of ash will help the wood combust more completely and burn a hotter fire. You can also use a vacuum to clean any remaining debris in the fireplace.

fireplace remodeling in Merrimack NHBurn Seasoned Firewood

Seasoned firewood is wood that has been dried out for at least six months. The lower moisture content in seasoned wood will help you burn more efficient and hotter fires. The wood will also burn more slowly, requiring less wood fuel to keep the fire going longer. Fresh or “green” wood has a high moisture content. It will burn fast and at a lower temperature. It will also emit more smoke and creosote, requiring the chimney sweep to clean the chimney more frequently.

Make Sure the Damper Works

When not using the fireplace, closing the damper will reduce energy loss and protect the fireplace from moisture intrusion. However, the metal damper can rust, warp, or corrode, preventing it from operating correctly. Also, the rubber gasket can wear out, leaving gaps for air and moisture to get through. Periodically test the damper to ensure it opens and closes with ease.

Watch for Signs of a Water Leak

Anytime water is leaking into the fireplace is a cause of concern because it can cause extensive damage to the masonry and internal components.  Some of the signs of a water leak include water in the firebox, water stains on the ceiling or near the fireplace, discoloration, and softening bricks and mortar. If you suspect a water leak, contact a chimney professional as soon as possible so they can locate and repair the leak before more damage occurs.

Hire A Chimney Sweep to Inspect and Clean the Chimney

The best way to stay ahead of your fireplace and chimney maintenance is with an annual chimney inspection and cleaning. Scheduling a professional chimney sweep to inspect and clean the chimney will help prevent premature failure of the chimney structure and its internal components. A chimney sweep will also ensure your chimney is not a fire or safety hazard, so it will keep your family safe while you’re enjoying the warmth of a burning fire in the fireplace during the winter.

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)