How to Get Your Chimney Ready for Winter

December 25, 2021 11:39 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Homeowners often underestimate the importance of chimney maintenance. Without proper care, your next woodburning fire could make the flue burst into flames! The chances of a fire hazard occurring are higher than you may think. This leaves homeowners wondering, “Is my chimney ready for winter?”

Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take to guarantee your home’s safety during the cold months. Keep reading for tips on how to get your chimney prepared for the winter.

Inspect the chimney components

Checking the various components is necessary to get your chimney prepared for the winter. Start by making sure the chimney cap isn’t damaged or missing. The chimney cap is a metal grate that sits on top of the flue opening. Caps are very important because they prevent birds, squirrels, leaves and debris from entering the chimney.

Another component you should check is the chimney damper. The damper is either a valve or metal plate that regulates airflow in the chimney. Homeowners must open it when they want to build a fire and close it once the fire is completely burned out. Open and close the chimney damper a few times to make sure it’s working properly.

Take a moment to glance over the entire chimney. Inspect the masonry for cracks, loose bricks and missing chunks of mortar. While these issues sound minor, any amount of damage can prevent the chimney from properly filtering smoke out of your home. Schedule repairs with a professional if you detect signs of deterioration.

Remove fire hazards around the chimney

Homeowners must take some fire safety precautions before answering the question, “Is my chimney ready for winter?” For starters, check to see if any tree branches are hanging over the chimney cap. Overgrown tree limbs can damage the cap, stifle airflow and catch on fire. Before building your first fire of the season, trim back any branches that pose a concern.

In addition to tree trimming, clear away clutter that’s accumulated around the fireplace. Household objects are highly flammable and must remain a safe distance from open flames. During the winter time, ask family members to keep their possessions several feet away from the fireplace, even when it’s not actively burning wood.

Hire a professional chimney sweeper

Homeowners should have their chimneys professionally cleaned at least once a year. The best time to do this is right before you plan to start using your fireplace. Annual cleanings are the best way to get your chimney prepared for the winter because a professional sweeper can remove ash, soot and creosote. Creosote is an oily, highly-flammable byproduct of burning wood that collects inside the chimney. A professional clean will protect your family from dangerous chimney fires.

Preparing your chimney for winter is a big task. Help the process go a lot faster by checking out the chimney cleaning services at Marcell’s Specialties Inc. Our team possesses the tools and expertise necessary to keep your home safe during the cold months. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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