How to Prep a Fireplace for Winter

Winter fireplace

Fall is the perfect time to prepare the fireplace for winter, so you know everything is ready before you intend to use it. This checklist will help you prep your fireplace for a full winter of regular use.

Hire a Chimney Sweep

A chimney sweep removes all the debris from your chimney, so it’ll burn clean. Once the chimney is clean, you can assess its condition. Note that chimney sweeps tend to get booked up during the holiday season, so set up your appointment early to get in before the rush.

Check Chimney Integrity

After the chimney is clean, check for structural damage that would cause problems if you were to use the chimney. For example, if the masonry inside the chimney is crumbling, you might notice bits of masonry in the bottom of the chimney. If you observe an odd smell, you’ll know there is something to investigate. Either inspect the chimney yourself or hire an inspector.

While inspecting the chimney, always ensure there is a cap in place. A cap prevents animals from climbing down the chimney and keeps out debris such as falling leaves. If the cap is missing or damaged, have it repaired before you use the fireplace.

Inspect Gasket Materials and Equipment

This is one thing people overlook, but it’s important to make sure the gasket that seals the door is in good condition. Otherwise, the fire could get too much air and burn too hot.

Clean the Blower

Fireplace blowers usually don’t have filters. They need to be cleaned to prevent a buildup.

Change the Batteries in the Smoke Detector

Whenever you’re using a fireplace, you want to make sure the smoke detectors are in good working order. Get into the habit of changing the batteries in the smoke detector twice a year, ideally in spring and fall, to promote good fire safety.

Get Firewood

If you need wood, purchase firewood locally. If you have wood, check the moisture level. Firewood is ready to use when the moisture level is below 20 percent.

Get Your Chimney Serviced

Brandstetter’s Kanga Roof offers chimney servicing and repair throughout the Cincinnati area. We’ll help you enjoy your chimney this winter with services including mortar and light masonry repair, chimney flashing, tuck pointing, and chimney sealing. We can also inspect the flue and chase cap. Learn more about our chimney services.