Do you use a wood stove, fireplace or furnace to supplement your heating system during the winter? If so, have you begun preparing for using that wood to heat your home this year? Here, you'll find a few tips to help you get things ready for a long, cold winter.
Chimney Inspection and Repair
Most homeowners that burn wood to heat the home know that the chimney is an essential element of the system. If the chimney is neglected, the family and your home is put at risk. Before you burn your first fire of the season, get a chimney professional out to inspect your chimney.
During the inspection, the chimney will first be cleaned so that the technician can clearly see every surface inside. Then, he or she will use the specialized equipment to inspect inside the chimney and carefully inspect the outside. Any cracks or damage that is found will be brought to your attention. You will be given the best options of making the repairs and you can then schedule the work to be done.
Knowing that there's an issue before you fire up your first burn, will decrease the chances of a house fire occurring or your home filling up with disgusting black smoke because the chimney was clogged.
Stock the Wood
The wood that you burn must be as dry as possible to prevent creosote from building up in the chimney. If you burn wet wood, or wood that hasn't been cut and seasoned for at least a year, you will have to spend more time and money keeping up with the chimney cleaning.
To keep your wood pile dry, consider picking up a portable garage unit. These are pretty affordable and do a great job of keeping things inside of it dry. Before you stack the wood, put down wooden pallets. This will keep the bottom layers of wood far enough off of the ground that you won't have to worry about it soaking up the moisture from the ground and you'll be less likely to find insects nesting in it.
Check the Fire Extinguishers
Now, go through your house and check all of the fire extinguishers. A lot of people don't know that fire extinguishers do expire. Once they do, there is no guarantee that it will work when you need it. If you find them to be expired, replace them.
Getting prepared now will help you avoid the scurry when the first flakes begin to fall. Hopefully, the above tips will give you the head start that you need to stay on top of things all winter. For more information on chimney maintenance and chimney repair, contact your local providers.