- Have your chimney swept. You should be doing this each year before winter in order to get rid of soot and creosote buildup. Hire a certified chimney sweep to perform this job.
- Have your chimney inspected. A chimney sweep can check for signs of deterioration or damage, such as loose bricks or cracks. If you use a chimney liner, the chimney sweep will also inspect it to make sure it’s still in good condition.
- Install a chimney cap. This serves as a cover for your chimney, which prevents birds and other wildlife from getting in and building nests or getting into your home’s interior. A chimney cap also keeps rain from coming down your chimney. If you have one already, make sure it doesn’t show signs of damage.
- Skip softer woods. Burn hardwoods that have been kept dry for about six months, such as oak. Softer woods, especially those that contain resin, create higher levels of creosote, which is a flammable substance.
- Keep fires small. Stick to smaller fires, rather than piling on a bunch of logs. Bigger fires produce more smoke, which results in more creosote inside your chimney. The excess heat from these larger fires can also damage your chimney.
These safety tips for cleaning out your fireplace will help make your home more appealing to buyers and provide them with peace of mind.