Repair Your Chimney for Winter Warmth & Safety
As southern New Hampshire gets ready for another unpredictable winter with its ice storms and blizzards and sub-zero weather, the fall is a good time to make sure your chimney is ready to perform predictably to get you through the season safely. Here’s a checklist of “must-do’s” for your chimney and fireplace this fall.
Visually inspect your chimney
Chimneys are one of those things that tend to be out of sight, out of mind. With winter approaching, it’s time to put your chimney in the cross-hairs in order to spot a variety of safety or repair issues that might be happening and then schedule the necessary work so your chimney will be ready for winter.
Your visual inspection should include:
Chimney cap: check for cracks and decay
Chimney crown: make sure it’s intact and properly fitted
Roof flashing: it should be flat and form a strong seal between the roof and the chimney
Exterior chimney masonry: look for cracks in the mortar joints, loose or missing bricks and discoloration in sections of the masonry
Fireplace damper: ensure it opens fully and closes completely
Angle of the exterior chimney: damaged chimneys may lean to the side
Benefits of certified chimney inspections
In addition to your visual inspection, it’s always a smart move to arrange for a chimney inspection from a certified chimney technician. This individual will follow up on any problems you’ve spotted and be able to uncover trouble areas you may not have noticed.
A chimney pro who’s certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America also will know exactly why problems exist and the best way to remedy them to keep your home and family safe. A quality chimney sweep company will provide not only thorough inspections but also skilled repair services for any area of your chimney structure or its components.
The two reasons to schedule a chimney sweep before winter
Chimney sweeps are specially trained technicians who clean the inside of chimneys. Using hand-held and rotating brushes, scrapers, vacuums and cleaning solvents, they keep your chimney safe in two ways:
- Creosote removal
A byproduct of smoke, flammable creosote can ignite and start a chimney fire. Virtually all fire-safety organizations recommend yearly chimney sweep services if you have a wood-burning fireplace.
- Removal of drafting obstructions
Debris such as nests of small animals, the animals themselves when they are trapped and die in the flue, leaves, twigs and other tree debris can build up in a chimney and prevent smoke from drafting properly. Professional chimney sweeps remove all this debris.
Chimney sweeps also can check the condition of your chimney’s interior including the chimney liner. Damaged interior bricks and faulty liners can set the stage for a fire that spreads to combustible materials of your home. Getting your flue inspected and repaired before winter will give you peace of mind as you start cranking up your fireplace for the cold season. A clean and fully operational chimney is the only kind of chimney that’s safe. This fall, pay close attention to your chimney and work with a certified chimney professional to spot and fix problems before they become serious safety risks.
For New England’s best chimney sweep, chimney inspection and chimney repair services, count on Black Moose Chimney & Stove of Antrim, NH, to deliver. Call (603) 525-7905 with questions or to schedule a service appointment. We’re proud members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild and the Northeast Association of Chimney & Hearth Professionals.