Prevent Costly Chimney Repairs with These Pro Tips
Unexpected chimney repairs can be expensive if your chimney hasn’t been regularly maintained. Neglected chimneys can dramatically deteriorate to the point where they are unsafe to use and structurally unsound. You can prevent the risk of serious fireplace safety risks and expensive chimney repairs by following a few chimney maintenance pro-tips.
Tip #1 – Check the firebox & flue for signs of wear
Even though fireplaces are designed to withstand the high temperatures and corrosive chemicals produced by the fire, they can still wear down over time. When masonry cracks and chips, it creates pathways for hot embers and carbon monoxide to escape the chimney. Protecting your home from these safety risk can also prevent the need to rebuild in the future.
Tip #2 – Burn the right wood
Creosote is one of the leading causes of chimney fires. This extremely flammable chemical compound is produced when wood doesn’t burn efficiently. There are two ways to reduce the amount of creosote produced by your fire: burn hardwoods and wait until wood is seasoned before burning it. Seasoned logs, or logs that have dried out for eight to twelve months, produce significantly less creosote than green logs because they have a much lower moisture content. Hardwoods, like oak, create less creosote than softwoods, like cedar, because they are denser and produce less smoke. Reducing the creosote that builds up in your chimney by burning the right wood can prevent costly repairs like a new chimney liner.
Tip #3 – Look out for discolored or damaged bricks & mortar outside
If notice a white chalky residue on the chimney bricks or see broken masonry, you should reach out to a chimney specialist. These are signs that water is getting into the chimney and causing damage to the masonry. Early detection can dramatically reduce the extent of the damage and the price tag for the repairs.
Tip #4 – Test the damper & invest in a chimney cap
The damper controls the movement of air in and out of the chimney. It can also prevent water from falling into the firebox and corroding it. You should test your damper regularly to make sure that it isn’t stuck open or closed.
If you chimney doesn’t have a cap or chase cover on it, it is smart to have one installed. Chimney caps and chase covers play the biggest role in preventing water from running down the chimney and causing water damage. They also prevent animals from making a nest in the chimney.
Tip #5 – Invest in annual cleanings & inspections
Chimney cleaning is one household task that you shouldn’t DIY. Unless you’ve been trained in chimney maintenance, it is easy to overlook warning signs of potential problems. Trained and experienced chimney experts like ours know what to look for. We also have the best equipment to safely remove tough creosote deposits.
Making small investments into your chimney every year can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Your future self will thank you for following these tips to prevent the risk of repairing a crumbling chimney.
If you need to hire a chimney specialist that you can trust, give us a call! We are certified, licensed and insured. We are so committed to our customers that we have a five-star guarantee.