Can you believe that summer is over? We can’t either! While it may still feel quite hot in some areas of the country, the reality is that autumn and winter are upon us. Most homeowners have a detailed checklist of home maintenance that needs to be done before the cold weather hits. Unfortunately, cleaning the chimney rarely makes it onto this list. The saying “out of sight, out of mind” definitely rings true when it comes to chimney maintenance. However, just before winter is the most important time to have your chimney cleaned! Here are the top five chimney maintenance tips that you should take into consideration this season:
Remove rooftop debris
From one winter to the next, your rooftop is bound to get covered in leaves. If you have a chimney cap installed- which you should- this can help to prevent this debris from entering your chimney. However, if your roof has quite a bit of debris like branches and leaves, they can still find their way into your chimney while it’s in use. If your chimney become blocked by debris, smoke is unable to exit properly and could flood your home instead.
Check that the smoke alarm is operational
If you have a fireplace in your home, then it’s absolutely crucial that you also have at least one smoke alarm. You should also have a carbon monoxide detector. Before the fall and winter months- when you’ll likely be using your fireplace the most- be sure to check if these detectors are still operational. If they aren’t, then replace them as soon as possible!
Remove creosote buildup
Over time, creosote can build up inside of a chimney. While it starts out as harmless dust, it can eventually become thick and tar-like in consistency. Creosote becomes thick when it has been sitting inside the chimney for quite some time. This can cause toxic fumes to be emitted from your fireplace and can also cause smoke to enter into your home. Be sure to have creosote professionally removed before winter.
Assess the flue damper operation
Check your flue damper and ensure that it not only opens and closes fully, but that it can also be locked in both positions.
The best way to ensure that all of these maintenance tips are followed is to hire a professional chimney sweep. It’s important to get your chimney professionally cleaned at least twice annually and one of those times should be before winter hits. At The Original Chimney Sweepers, we want our clients to both enjoy their fireplaces and stay safe. It’s impossible to do these things if your chimney is dirty or structurally unsafe. But there’s good news- we can help. Whenever we service a chimney, we clean it thoroughly, remove and analyse all debris, and perform a comprehensive safety inspection. When you hire us to clean your chimney, you can rest assured that it will be done properly.