There are many reasons why you should repair your chimney during the off-season when it will not be in use.
- Is your fire not burning properly?
- Is there excess build-up in your fireplace?
- Ash or smoke entering your home?
- Missing a chimney cap?
- Cracks forming in or around your chimney or in your fireplace?
If you answered yes to any of the above, it’s time to have a professional chimney sweeper check out your fireplace and the chimney.
You will want to make sure that your fireplace is in full functioning order. Making sure that your chimney is working well, will help to ensure that you do not deal with any chimney fires. It will also help the efficiency of your fireplace. Below are some things that you should do while it is the off-season for your fireplace and chimney.
You will want to hire a professional chimney sweeper that will check out your fireplace and the chimney. They will look for moisture leaks, inefficiency, blockage, cracks, and more. While you could look at your chimney yourself, you may miss some of the signs of damage. Missing the smallest of cracks can lead to a possible house fire. A tiny crack can allow the heat of your fireplace to get to combustible materials, and your house could be burned down.
It is important that your chimney is clean if you use your fireplace frequently. Over time creosote is deposited in the chimney. This material is highly flammable and can catch fire. Also, the extreme buildup of creosote will cause the chimney to become blocked. Instead of the smoke going out the chimney, these fumes will come back down into your home. This can lead to a deadly fire as well as lead to health risks.
Close the Damper
When you are not using your fireplace, make sure that you close the damper. Leaving the damper open will only let cold air into your home. It is almost the same as leaving the window open. Make sure the damper is closed to save on your air conditioning bill. Another reason why you should close the damper is to keep birds, bats, and other critters from coming into your home through the chimney.
At the end of the wood-burning season, you should clean out your fireplace. Leaving the fireplace full of ashes over the spring and summer months can lead to foul smells in your home as well as poor air quality. Your fireplace will also look better and be ready for the winter if you clean it out during the spring and summer.
Install a Chimney Cap
In order to make sure you keep moisture out of your chimney, keep animals out, and prevent debris from entering into your chimney, you should consider installing a chimney cap. These are relatively easy to install and can protect your chimney from harm. It can also make sure that there are no sparks that catch your roof.
Maintaining your Fireplace
In addition to your chimney, during this off-season, you will want to take the time to look your fireplace base over as well. Look for any cracks, debris, and any other issues that may affect your fireplace. If you need to replace the seal, make sure that you do this during the summer months. Doing this will help to ensure that your fireplace works as efficiently as possible and puts out the most heat as possible.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends having routine chimney maintenance at least once a year, and even more frequently if you have a wood-burning stove. Doing chimney and fireplace maintenance during the spring and summer months can help to prevent home fires. There have been many home fires due to dirty chimneys that have not been properly maintained.