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With warmer days and nights increasing, using your outdoor fireplace is likely tempting. But before you burn a fire, there is some maintenance required to make sure it operates efficiently and safely.

And while an outdoor fireplace adds charm and character to your backyard, it’s only functional if free from debris and sturdy. Harsh winter weather can deteriorate the structure and animal nests can block the chimney.

Before you use your outdoor fireplace, a professional chimney cleaning services should thoroughly clean and inspect the structure to make sure it is cleaned and maintained properly. A professional chimney cleaning service will:

-Remove any debris from inside the chimney, specifically, any dead leaves branches or even animals that might have burrowed into the chimney during the winter. Debris in your outdoor fireplace chimney can prevent hazardous gasses from venting from the fireplace.

-Inspect your fireplace and chimney to make sure the winter weather didn’t damage the structure. The freeze-thaw cycle can wreak havoc on your chimney, causing it to expand and contract. This back-and-forth can create cracks and a weak structure that can start crumbling. Furthermore, the settling ground below also can shift, causing potentially unsafe conditions.

-Remove creosote from the chimney. Creosote is the hazardous by-product of fires. It adheres to the inside walls of the chimney, and can catch on fire in intense heat.

Whether you have a gas or wood-burning outdoor fireplace, its recommended that you get the unit inspected at least once a year, twice a year if you use it heavily.

Rooftop Chimney Sweeps Inc. can provide all the services you need for your outdoor fireplace, including chimney liner installation, masonry or hardscaping around the fireplace, chimney crown repair, and chimney cleaning service. And we service Alexandria, McLean, Arlington, Washington, D.C., and beyond.

For more information about our services or to schedule an appointment to have your outdoor — or indoor — fireplace and chimney cleaned, contact us today.

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