When the first cold snap of fall has you ready to light your first fire of the season, make sure your fireplace and chimney are ready. Using your fireplace safely requires some regular fall maintenance. Start now so your fireplace will be ready for the fall.
Have your chimney swept and inspected.
Fall chimney maintenance begins with a chimney sweeping and inspection. Every time you burn a fire, creosote builds up on the walls of your chimney. Creosote is highly flammable and can ignite if it is allowed to build up unchecked. Chimney sweeping removes that creosote, and your chimney sweep follows the cleaning with a thorough inspection to ensure that your chimney and fireplace are free from leaks, cracks or damage that could put your home at risk for a chimney fire, structural damage or a buildup of carbon monoxide.
Take care of any repairs.
It is crucial that you take care of any chimney or fireplace repairs, no matter how small, before you light the first fire of fall. Even the smallest chimney damage can worsen during the course of the winter and increase your risk for a chimney fire. Or that small bit of damage can continue to grow, causing even greater damage to the chimney or to your home’s structure.
Protect your chimney from water damage.
Nothing threatens a chimney quite like water. Water can seep into a chimney’s masonry and cause cracks and flaking bricks and mortar joints. It can cause deterioration of a chimney liner and cause metal fireplace components, like dampers, fire grates and fire doors, to rust. As you prepare your chimney for the fall, make sure that it is properly protected from water with a secured and undamaged chimney cap and an undamaged chimney crown. To keep water from penetrating your chimney’s masonry, you can consider applying a waterproofing treatment that provides a shield between a chimney’s masonry and water while still allowing gases to exit through the chimney safely.
Prepare your fuel.
To ready your wood-burning fireplace for the fall, you’ll need to have a stack of wood at the ready. You firewood must be properly dried, or seasoned, and protected from the elements to prevent any rotting or molding. Having properly seasoned and stored firewood ensures that your fires will burn cleanly and efficiently this winter.
If you are ready to prepare your chimney for your first fire of the fall, call the chimney experts at Fluesbrothers Chimney Service today! Our chimney technicians can sweep and inspect your chimney, help you address any chimney repairs — big or small — and can help you make sure your chimney is protected from the elements this winter. We also can talk to you about any chimney or fireplace improvements, or address any concerns you may have about your fireplace and chimney this fall.