Tips to Ensure Your Chimney is Ready for Cold Weather
As the winter months appear on the calendar, it is time to think about fires in the fireplace. Many homeowners use their fireplace as a centerpiece during the holidays. Before decking the halls and collecting firewood, make sure your chimney is ready for fires. Below is a checklist to help all homeowners prepare their chimneys for the winter months.
Tip #1 – Schedule A Chimney Inspection
It is safe to say that not all homeowners are chimney experts. Very few have a trained eye to spot potential problems. If the fireplace and chimney haven’t been inspected in the last twelve months, it’s time to schedule a licensed chimney sweep to come in for a cleaning and inspection. The colder months aren’t the ideal time to get this done but, it’s no excuse to postpone it now. A cleaning and inspection can catch hazardous concerns. Safety should be the goal in all fireplace situations.
Tip #2 – Check The Chimney Flashing
Take a good look at the flashing of your chimney. This is the sheet metal wrapped around where the chimney meets the roof. Its chief purpose is to prevent rainwater and moisture from getting into the home. This piece of metal will deteriorate over time and allow water to seep into the roof and your home. Mold and mildew will grow on your ceilings and spread down the walls. These conditions will require significant repairs.
Tip #3 – Check The Chimney Cap
Is the chimney cap doing what it is designed to do? The chimney cap is put into place to keep animals and organic debris out of your chimney and firebox. Animals will crawl/fly down to get warm. They can also leave their droppings and create a terrible odor. Most importantly, animals can scratch and claw out a place to curl up, creating holes that let rain in. A chimney sweep will let you know if the cap needs replacing.
Tip #4- Make Sure To Burn Seasoned Firewood
Burning hard and dry wood is best for your fireplace. Dry wood creates less smoke when lit. The wood used should be stored in a high, dry place for at least a season. The term ‘seasoned’ has a variety of definitions. Most chimney experts will recommend six months for wood to season properly.
Tip #5 – Use a Spark Screen
Avoid flying embers with a spark screen. It can be either a screen with no holes or a glass door. A spark guard is vital if you have small children, or the fire is often left unattended. Small children are curious. A spark guard will keep little hands away from the heat and also stop the occasional errant spark from escaping the fireplace.
Northeast Chimney, LLC recommends these tips for readying your fireplace and chimney for the winter. Our technicians will come out and not just clean your chimney but inspect every part of it. With their trained eye, the techs will check all aspects of the chimney for any irregularities. They will make a note of any problems and discuss them with you.
We have been in the business of cleaning and servicing chimneys for 40 years. Many of our customers are homeowners in your area.
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Northeastern Chimney, LLC
37 Cody Street
West Hartford, Connecticut 06110