Importance of Chimney Maintenance, Cleaning Highlighted by DuraVent
DETROIT, Mich., June 29, 2018 – DuraVent, a leading commercial and residential venting products manufacturer, receives inquiries on almost a daily basis from consumers and contractors seeking the proper ways to inspect and clean chimney venting systems. To better assist its customers, DuraVent has developed its Chimney Inspection Checklist. The checklist, available on DuraVent.com, covers all-season, pre-fall, and pre-winter inspection procedures.
“Providing our customers with a chimney inspection checklist helps them properly check for danger signs in their chimneys and venting systems,” said Nick Bruce, DuraVent Tech Support manager. “Our entire organization is dedicated to helping our customers and end-users of our products to ensure safe, reliable operation.”
- Check overall chimney condition. Inspect the chimney inside and out. If there are any signs of wear, such as loose bricks, you should replace immediately.
- Check termination and vent run for nests or animals. Look for any blockage or obstructions, which may also include leaves and debris. If the chimney system requires cleaning, it is best to use a plastic or “poly” chimney brush that will not gouge the stainless inner walls. Some stiff or aggressive metal brushes are intended for masonry or terra-cotta flue liners only.
- Check chimney liner. Be sure to clean all the portions of the chimney’s inner liner. Oftentimes, diagonal runs between elbows and horizontal offsets are not easily reached and may become a fire-hazard if neglected. Check and clean off any accumulated soot on the spark arrestor often.
- Check the damper. Ensure the chimney damper is opening and closing properly and not being blocked by debris.
- Check exterior installation for damages. First ensure none of the chimney components are missing. If any of the components are rusted or damaged, replace them. Check whether the chimney cap is intact and functional. Don’t forget to clean the chimney cap too. The accumulated creosote on the underside of a dirty cap can drip off when heated and stain your roof/shingles. Speaking of shingles, ensure shingles are in place and the flashing is installed securely. An improperly installed flashing may lead to leaks in your roof/ceiling.
- Check controls on appliance to ensure they all work. Always ensure all functions and controls of unique appliances are operating properly before using. If you have a pellet or biofuel burning stove, cleaning may be required every month, depending on frequency of use. If you are burning coal as a fuel in your chimney system, our warranty requires the annual cleaning to be conducted at the end of the heating season. This reduces the corrosion process during the off-season. If you have an oil-burning system, inspect it annually for obstructions and residual build-up.
“For wood-burning appliances, a good rule-of-thumb is to clean your chimney at least once for every cord of wood burned over the heating season,” added Bruce. “As a condition of our warranty, DuraVent requires the homeowner to inspect their chimney system annually to determine if the system needs cleaning.”
During the summer months, home owners should inspect weather-proof seals on any roof or wall penetration. Warm temperatures make it easier to properly apply 500 RTV sealant to wall thimbles, storm collars, and any roof/flashing materials. Take advantage of the nicer weather to do a maintenance check for bird nests, missing bricks, shingles, and any other signs of roof leaks. Clear away dry leaves, pine needles, and other combustible debris that may have collected over the winter.
By having a professional perform a chimney cleaning during summer, you may save money. Summer is the time to get the discounted “off-season” rates on chimney sweeping and duct cleaning.
For more information related to the properly installation and maintenance of chimney venting systems, visit DuraVent.com.