Is Your Chimney Prepped for the Long Winter?

Snow fallen on brick chimney

For winter, many homeowners will use their fireplace or wood-burning stove. They may light a nice warm fire to create a festive mood or use their fireplaces as a secondary heat source to lower their energy bills. Before putting in the tinder, you want to make sure that the chimney is in proper working order. Problems with the chimney could cause potential damage to your home.

Check Chimney’s Integrity

You will need a ladder to get up on the roof. You will want to search for cracks, loose joints, and other damage. Addressing these issues ensures that the chimney is usable and will not collapse. Also, fixing cracks and loose joints prevents the masonry from shifting that could block the smoke from venting outside. Always get the chimney properly serviced if there are only problems. A professional service technician may turn up things that you may have missed seeing or never considered a problem. If you cannot get it serviced before use, schedule an annual inspection before the winter to check for potential issues.

Inspect Chimney Cap or Screen

The chimney cap and screen are easily overlooked on the fireplace system. These items prevent things from going down into the chimney, such as leaves, debris, branches, and animals. You want to check out the screen and cap to make sure there are no cracks, chips, or other forms of damage. Severe weather can knock off a chimney cap just enough to allow animals to nest inside. Make sure the screen or cap is intact and remove any animals that may have gotten into the chimney.

Remove Tree Limbs

While there may not be tree branches in the chimney, you may have tree limbs over the cap that could cause a dangerous situation. Tree limbs over the chimney can catch fire. The thick limbs may also prevent the chimney from properly drafting, as smoke goes into the home inside of venting outside. Trim back the branches to prevent these obstructions.

With a sound chimney system, you can use your fireplace or wood-burning stove confidently during the long winter months. Find out how to keep your chimney in good working order by contacting Brandstetter’s KangaRoof.