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Picking Up the Pieces After a Flood

Dealing with serious flood damage at home is not the end of the world. And most importantly, it does not have to cost you an arm and a leg to get your home back into living condition again. In fact, you may find (like I did) that recovering from a flood gives you an opportunity to improve the look and feel of your home overall, and even to implement design options that increase the value of your property. I spent about a year fixing up my place after a pipe exploded while I was on vacation, and literally ruined everything inside from the flooring and walls, to my photos and important paperwork. So, I figured I could help others "pick up the pieces" and create a bigger ad better lifestyle at home by turning a flood situation into an opportunity, instead of dealing with it like a crisis.


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Picking Up the Pieces After a Flood

Fireplace Maintenance Tips You Can Follow At Home

by Scott Gordon

If you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home, you should have professionals inspect your fireplace and chimney each year. This will ensure any problems, like creosote buildup or leaks, do not go undetected. Although this annual maintenance is best left to the professionals, there is also some maintenance you can do on your own.

Close the damper when you are not having a fire

The damper is the flap or door located at the top of your fireplace where it opens up into the chimney. An important part of maintaining your fireplace is actually making sure you always close this damper when you are not having a fire. Doing so will help prevent debris from falling down into the chimney and causing clogs. With the damper closed, there will be less suction from above. Just remember to open the damper again before you light another fire.

Burn seasoned wood

Pay close attention to the wood you burn. Do not burn wood that has been seasoned, or aged, for any less than a year. Wood that has been aged for two years is even better. Aged wood burns a lot cleaner than green wood, so you won't get nearly as much creosote buildup. You will have less risk of chimney fires, and your chimney maintenance service won't have to do as much to clean your chimney and keep it clean.

Remove ash once it reaches the bottom of your fireplace grate

Most fireplaces have a grate that sits in the base of the fireplace. You set the wood on top of this grate before lighting it. Pay attention to the level of ash, and always clear it away before it reaches the bottom of the grate. This will help your fire retain better airflow, and it will also keep the fireplace cleaner. You won't have as much ash floating around your home, either.

Keep smoke and carbon monoxide detectors operational

Smoke detectors and CO detectors are not technically part of your fireplace, but they are two things you absolutely need if you have a fireplace. Check them monthly, and change their batteries every year. Most smoke detectors and CO detectors come printed with expiration dates. Replace these items when they do reach their expiration date.

The maintenance tips above will keep you safe, keep your fireplace in good shape, and ensure your fireplace maintenance company can better do its job.