Santa only comes once a year, but does a chimney sweep come even that much? If not, one should. Besides getting Santa stuck in your chimney on Christmas Eve, here are 3 other fireplace problems you might face this holiday season.
1. Chestnuts Roasting – Along With The Squirrel That Stashed Them
After the first snowfall of the season, you probably want to create a magical moment with your children in preparation for the holidays. You think that turning off the lights, lighting a fire, gathering your family close and telling stories is the perfect atmosphere to kick off winter. And that might just be how your evening goes. Or… You might end up roasting more than you bargained for.
During the summer, nesting animals often find shelter in and around chimneys. If you're not careful, you could end up setting fire to a bird's or squirrel's nest that's clogging your chimney. Before lighting your first fire, shine a bright light up the chimney to make sure that nothing is obstructing it. Next, either hire someone to give your chimney a good sweeping, or do it yourself.
2. Flaming Marshmallows, Stockings, and Christmas Trees
Let's say you got that pesky rodent out of your chimney, but decided that you could hold off on the cleaning and save a few bucks to put towards Christmas. Christmas Eve comes around, and once again, you want to create a magical moment for your kids to remember and tell their children in the future. "The best Christmas I remember…" is how their stories will all start. While this could be their most memorable Christmas, it could be for reasons other than holiday cheer and family unity. They might remember this year because it's the year their home burned down, taking Christmas with it.
Throughout the year, as your chimney is exposed to the elements, hairline cracks might appear. Even if you examine the outside of your chimney and don't notice any chips or cracks, that doesn't mean they aren't there. The most dangerous cracks occur on the inside of the chimney, because they can go unnoticed until they become a major problem. When this happens, heat escapes throughout the chimney instead of being guided up and away from your home. What started as an innocent night with music and marshmallows ended with your stockings, Christmas tree, and other parts of your home smoldering.
3. Toxic Wrapping Paper
So you avoided the first two disasters, did you? Well, now it's Christmas morning, and you are happily watching your children unwrap their presents and squeal with excitement over their new toys. As each gift is opened, you stuff more and more wrapping paper into the fireplace. You don't think it's that big a deal – burning all the wrapping paper instead of overflowing your garbage. But is it a big deal?
Chimney problems can start as soon as that match is lit. If you haven't had your chimney cleaned this year, you might just be releasing toxic gases into your home when you light a fire. Gases range from the fire's smoke reentering your home to more hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide can't be seen or smelled, but it is deadly.
Reducing holiday hazards takes one step: cleaning your chimney before using the fireplace. If you are confident in your abilities, you can perform a basic cleaning yourself. If you worry about possible repairs (for chips, cracks, etc.), talk to a professional instead. Chimney cleaning only comes once a year, so make it count. Not only will Santa thank you for his safe travels, but your children will, too.Share
11 December 2014
My name is Brandon McCauley and this blog is about new trends in the construction industry. In this blog you'll learn about new types of materials that are long-lasting and durable. You'll also find out how new homes and businesses are being built to be more energy efficient. I continually study new trends and the latest developments in construction because this is an interest of mine. I'm always amazed when I see new building and home designs that are out of the ordinary. If you also like learning about new construction trends, I think you'll find my blog very interesting and informative.