Preventing Smoke & Soot Damage
November is here! As cooler temperatures arrive in Philadelphia, many of us look forward to keeping warm by a fire. Of course, enjoying a cozy fire requires a clean, safe fireplace. Here are some tips for keeping it that way:
- When possible, keep a window cracked while the fire is burning. The incoming air will go up the chimney and prevent the room from becoming smokey.
- Make sure the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. Keeping the damper or flue open until the fire is out will draw smoke out of the house. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror. Do not close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.
- Use dry and well-aged wood. Wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly,
- Clean out ashes from previous fires. Levels of ash at the base of the fireplace should be kept to 1 inch or less because a thicker layer restricts the air supply to logs, resulting in more smoke.
- Fireplace coals can remain hot enough to start a fire for up to three days, so always wait at least that long before removing the ashes. At that point, close the damper to prevent cold air in the flue from stirring up excess dust while you're removing the ashes.
If your fireplace causes soot, smoke, or odor damage to your home, call the experts at SERVPRO of Society Hill.