Winter is approaching, which means you are probably ready to begin enjoying the coziness of a warm fire. However, is your fireplace ready to not only keep you warm, but also safe from a dangerous fire? If the answer is no or you are not sure, you could benefit from a chimney repair Washington DC company.

Here are a few things to consider before setting ablaze the first fire of the season.

Watch for Changes in Your Chimney

As a homeowner, you become the first line of defense by paying attention to changes to the chimney. For instance, drafty areas or strong areas should not be overlooked. Regularly inspect the exterior condition to avoid needing extensive repairs.

Cracks could lead to leaks and cause water damage. Minor issues should be addressed as soon as possible. While you might be able to fix some issues yourself, do not hesitate to seek professional help.

Keep the Damper Closed When You’re Not Using the Fireplace

Close off the damper when your fireplace is not in use. Doing this prevents indoor heat from escaping and giving you high heating bills.

At the same time, don’t forget to reopen the damper before lighting a fire. Failing to do this before the fire gets started creates an excessive amount of smoke. Your chimney might need to be cleaned if you open the damper and still have this issue.

Burn the Right Wood

Different types of wood can produce different levels of creosote. This highly flammable substance builds up in the chimney. It is best to use dense wood like oak to build a fire. Make sure it has been properly split and kept in a dry area at least six months before use.

Pine is a soft wood that produces creosote faster, so avoid burning this type.

Seek Professional Cleaning and Chimney Repair Services

There are all sorts of tips you can find that explains what to do for your fireplace. However, seeking professional chimney repair Washington DC is highly recommended. Do this at least once a year.

Having your chimney cleaned professionally removes soot and debris from last winter. This ensures you will safely enjoy this season.