Since chimney maintenance keeps your chimney in good working order, which ensures the unit can be used safely, it should be performed every year before you begin using the chimney for the season. Use this maintenance checklist to keep your chimney safe.
Check the damper
The damper regulates the flow of air in your chimney. It should be closed when not in use, to prevent drafts from entering the house. If the damper is not tightly sealed, you’ll use more energy to heat the home — which means a spike in utility bills. If the damper can’t open properly, smoke can enter the home. Always make sure your damper functions properly before using the fireplace.
Waterproof the chimney
Water is the natural enemy of chimney mortar. Your chimney needs waterproofing to prevent structural damage. A water sealant, applied to the outside of the chimney, is a first line of defense against the elements. A chase cover (for prefabricated chimneys) or a crown (for brick and mortar chimneys) will prevent rain from getting inside the chimney while ensuring that you are able to use the unit as intended.
Sweep the chimney
If your chimney liner has more than 1/8 inch of soot, call in a chimney sweep. Alternately, keep track of how often you use the chimney and schedule a sweep every 50 burns (more often for a wood burning fireplace, and less often for a gas fireplace). Sweeping removes debris from the chimney, which makes it cleaner.
Consider upgrading to an energy efficient fireplace
Older wood burning chimneys are not energy efficient. If you enjoy the look and feel of a fire, but want to conserve energy, consider upgrading the chimney to an energy efficient fireplace to save money and modernize the home.
Check the mortar joints and bricks
This important step makes sure that the chimney is structurally sound. Have a professional check out the masonry joints and bricks. Your chimney may need a mortar repair, which is known as tuck pointing. By repairing worn mortar, you can prevent water damage from affecting the chimney’s structural integrity and keep out drafts. This can be done as part of an annual chimney inspection.
If you notice your chimney needs work, look to Brandstetter’s Kanga Roof. We offer chimney inspections, flashing repairs and light sealing throughout the Cincinnati area. Learn more or call for a quote today: 513.713.0418.