How to Prepare Your Chimney for the Winter Season

Chimney with light snow on a roof

Getting your chimney ready for the winter ensures it is in working order and allows you to address repairs that are needed. Before the Cincinnati winter arrives at your home, here are several steps to take so that your chimney is ready when you are using your fireplace to heat your home.

Trim Nearby Trees

Tree branches hanging over your chimney may send twigs and leftover fall leaves down into the chimney where they could catch fire along the chimney flue. In addition, this debris can end up blocking the flue and preventing the smoke from getting outside. Trim back the tree branches to prevent avoidable accidents.

Have Chimney Inspected for Safety and Damage

Your chimney may have become damaged during the time when it was not in service. The mortar may have cracked or become damaged. The bricks could have loosened, and other structural issues may have occurred. Getting the chimney inspected every year can ensure that the chimney will be in good working order when you need it.

Hire a Chimney Sweep

A chimney sweep can clean the chimney of soot and creosote inside. Once the chimney is clean, you have a better chance of noticing any damage to the chimney, such as problems with the flue and damper. The chimney sweep may also be able to tell you if structural issues that they noticed while performing the work so that an inspector can take a closer look at the extent of the damage.

Check the Chimney Cap and Damper

Airflow is regulated through the chimney using a damper. The damper should be closed for the summer and open for the winter. If the chimney damper is not working, it can send the smoke back into the house. It can also prevent the airflow necessary to start the fireplace.

At the top of the chimney is the cap. The cap prevents leaves, debris, rain, and birds from entering the chimney. Both the cap and tech damper should be inspected for damage to ensure both are in working order.

A working chimney can help you keep your home warm in the winter and lower your utility costs. If you need repairs and service for your chimney, reach out to Brandstetter’s KangaRoof.