Chimney Time

Colder temps mean it’s time to cozy up in a blanket by the fire.

But before you light those logs, make sure to take the correct steps to keep your fireplace safe.

“Oh I’ve always had a fireplace, I can’t imagine a house without a fireplace, I love a fireplace.” said homeowner Debbie Asheim.

Asheim realized it was time to get her chimney swept.

“Well it was obvious it was pretty dirty,” said Asheim.

But in this case, a clean up job isn’t just cosmetic, it could be life saving.

“So the fresh black powder down there that looks kind of like gun power is the fresh creosote that actually came off the flue tiles, and this is why you need to have it cleaned because that’s flammable,” said Naperville Chimney Sweeper Mike Dickinson.

Decreasing the creosote in your chimney creates a safer environment inside of your fireplace.

But how exactly do you clean a chimney?

“This is a chimney sweep brush, it’s a nylon bristle brush on a flexible rod that allows it to go up the chimney flu. But basically what we do here is, we take the four foot rods, we’ll push the brush up, connect the next rod, so we can keep building the pole all the way up until the brush makes it up to the top of the cap and bring it back down and that cleans the entire flue up to the top,” said Dickinson.

At the top of your chimney, you should have a cap. This prevents rain, snow, and animals from entering your chimney.

“There’s also a bird in the area called the Chimney Swift, which really loves chimneys hence the name. And they nest in there and it’s a federally protected bird, and once they nest in there you can’t do anything until their migration period ends,” said Dickinson.

If you have Chimney Swifts, you can safely install a cap once the bird migrates in October.

“Basically safety is the primary reason, when you’re using your fireplace you want to make sure it’s safe,” said Dickinson.

Another way to stay safe, always test to make sure your fireplace has a draft; otherwise your house will be filled with smoke and can possibly start a fire.

“A quick way to test to see if you have a draft is to take your match stick, relight it, blow it out, and see where your smoke goes,” said Dickinson.

After sweeping your chimney and checking protocols, you can enjoy a warm fire in your home while knowing your chimney is safe and clean.

Naperville news 17’s Dimitri Villanueva reports.

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