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As we move into the summer season, you’re probably not thinking about your wood-burning fireplace. But if it’s been a while since your last cleaning and inspection, it’s the perfect time to schedule one. Most homeowners know that annual chimney cleanings and inspections help prevent fires, but routine maintenance offers many other important benefits, as detailed in this blog article.

1. Improved Air Quality

A chimney that is not properly maintained can lead to poor air quality in your home. When your chimney is clogged with debris, soot, and creosote, it can prevent the proper ventilation of smoke and other pollutants. These pollutants can then enter your home, causing respiratory problems and other health issues. Regular chimney cleanings will remove any buildup or obstructions, ensuring that smoke and pollutants are properly vented out of your chimney, and improving your home’s air quality.

2. Reduced Energy Bills

When your chimney is clogged or blocked, it causes your heating system to work harder, leading to higher energy bills. Keeping your chimney maintained will help ensure that it is functioning properly, so your heating system works more efficiently.

3. Protection from Water Damage

Improper sealing and cracks in the masonry allow water to seep into the bricks and mortar, causing damage to your chimney, roof, or the ceiling and walls of your home. Prevent costly problems and structural damage by scheduling an annual chimney inspection, addressing masonry repairs, and keeping up with sealing applications.

4. Increased Chimney Lifespan

Over time, a neglected chimney can lead to structural damage, which can cause it to deteriorate and fail. Regular maintenance, including inspection and repair, can help identify and fix any structural issues before they become major problems, prolonging the life of your chimney.


A Note About Chimney Fires

When you use your fireplace, creosote, a highly flammable substance, builds up on the interior walls of your chimney. Without proper cleaning, this buildup can ignite and cause a chimney fire. A chimney fire can quickly spread to the rest of your home, causing significant damage and putting your family in danger. Regular chimney maintenance, including professional cleanings and inspections, can help prevent creosote buildup and reduce the risk of a chimney fire.


Chimney Cleaning, Inspection, Maintenance & Repair in NH & MA

Regular chimney maintenance is essential for the safe and efficient operation of your chimney. By investing in regular chimney maintenance—including cleaning, inspection, sealing, and repair, you can protect your home, increase the lifespan of your chimney, and ensure that your family is safe and comfortable. Contact us to schedule your next cleaning and inspection.

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Now that the snow has finally melted and spring has arrived, it's time to start thinking about closing your fireplace for the season. Proper service and maintenance will help preserve the integrity of your chimney system. Our CCP-certified chimney experts recommend the following tips to help you safely close your fireplace for the season:

1. Schedule a cleaning and inspection.

A professional inspection and cleaning provide peace of mind that your fireplace and chimney are safe to use when the weather gets cold again. Your technician will clean soot and creosote that have accumulated from fireplace use and look for any chimney damage, such as cracks or other structural issues, that could pose a safety hazard.

2. Address any necessary repairs.

If our team identifies any structural issues or masonry problems during the inspection, be sure to schedule repairs before closing your fireplace for the season. A delay in repair work can lead to more significant and costly problems down the road.

3. Remove leftover debris from the fireplace.

Remove ashes, logs, or other materials that may have been left behind from the last time you used the fireplace. Be sure the debris is cool and use a metal shovel and bucket to dispose of the debris safely and properly.

4. Close the damper.

During the off-season, keep your damper closed to prevent humid air from entering your home and to keep air-conditioned air from escaping up the chimney. An open damper will not only make your air conditioning work harder, increasing your energy bills, but the humid outside air can produce a foul odor when mixed with creosote deposits in your chimney and fireplace.

5. Install a chimney cap.

A chimney cap sits on top of your chimney and helps prevent debris, animals, and rain from entering your chimney. Installing a chimney cap is an effective method to protect your chimney from damage and safety hazards.

6. Cover your fireplace opening.

Once you've completed all of the steps above, we recommend covering the fireplace opening to prevent drafts and debris from entering your home. You can use a fireplace screen or cover to block off the opening. Be sure to secure the cover tightly so that it doesn't come loose during the off-season.

7. Store unused firewood properly.

If you have firewood that you won't be using until next winter, store it away from your home in a dry space and off the ground. This will help prevent it from absorbing moisture, which can cause it to rot and become unusable.

Chimney Cleaning, Inspections, Repair, and Maintenance in NH and MA

By following these tips and working with our experienced team, you can ensure that your fireplace is ready to use when the weather turns colder again. Contact us today to schedule a cleaning and inspection or to learn more about our services.

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Your chimney plays an essential role in drawing smoke and other harmful pollutants out of your home, ensuring that your fireplace works safely and efficiently. And just like any other system in your home, your chimney requires regular cleaning to do its job safely. Without regular cleanings, creosote -a highly-flammable, tar-like byproduct of burning wood - can ignite and cause a chimney fire. Here are six signs that your chimney needs to be cleaned:

1. Frequent Use

We recommend cleaning your chimney at least once a year - more frequently if your fireplace is used often. If you love to enjoy nightly fires, schedule additional cleanings to keep creosote from building up.

2. Smoke in Your Home

If you notice smoke in your home, this could be a sign of a dirty or obstructed chimney. A dirty chimney restricts airflow, causing smoke and harmful gases to accumulate in your home. When your chimney is functioning correctly, it should draw smoke and other pollutants out of your home.

3. Difficulty Starting a Fire

If you have trouble starting a fire in your fireplace it could be due to a blockage or buildup of creosote in your chimney. When the chimney is clogged, the smoke cannot escape, and the airflow is restricted, making it challenging to start a fire.

4. Slow Burning Fire

If your fire burns slowly or doesn't burn as hot as it used to, this could be a sign of a blockage or buildup of creosote in your chimney. A restricted airflow can cause the fire to burn less efficiently, producing less heat.

5. Presence of Animals

Chimneys are a popular nesting place for small animals such as birds, squirrels, and raccoons. If you hear rustling or scratching sounds in your chimney, it's a sign that animals have taken up residence there. Animal nests and debris can block your chimney, preventing smoke and gases from leaving your home.

Pro Tip: Got animals? A chimney cap can prevent small critters from entering and nesting in your chimney. Our CCP-certified chimney professionals can help you select and install one today.

6. Burning Smell and Flakes

As creosote accumulates on the walls of your chimney, it can produce a strong burning odor. You may also notice creosote debris or flakes on the surface of your firebox.

Chimney Cleaning and Inspections in NH and MA

Is your chimney due for its next cleaning? Contact our CCP-certified chimney professionals at Admiralty Chimney. We can clean and inspect your chimney to improve its safety and efficiency, and ensure that your home is safe and comfortable.

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