As days get shorter and the weather gets colder, we retreat indoors to the warmth of our homes.
If you have a fireplace, fall is a great time to make sure the chimney and flue are in good working order.
First, you should visually assess the chimney from the outside. Ensure that it is not leaning, chipped, cracked, corroded, stains, loose, or has any holes. If your chimney is exposed to the attic, make sure to check there too. Make sure you have a good chimney cap. You may need to install on or replace your existing one. This can reduce damage caused to a chimney by water and wildlife. Rain and snow can enter an uncapped chimney and cause expansion damage. Inside the house, check the area around your chimney for any dampness or stains. These could be caused by faulty flashing around the chimney at the roofline, or by a damaged flue liner. If you see signs of water around your chimney, call a professional. Check if the flue is sooty or in disrepair. Open the clean out door from the base of the flue, located either in your basement or outside the house. Using a small mirror and flashlight to see up the flue, look for buildup of soot and also any holes, cracks, or separations. Check the brickwork in your fireplace for wear and tear. Also don’t forget to check the damper. It should open and close easily. Chimney safety should be a high priority for every homeowner. With regular fireplace maintenance, your favorite source of heat can give you years of wonderful service. A chimney professional can spot things that even a diligent homeowner could miss. Call a professional to do regular cleanings and safety checks as a part of your home maintenance routine.