When you light a fire in your fireplace, you are not likely to spend a lot of time thinking about what is happening in the chimney. If you maintain your chimney properly, there is no reason to worry, but you should have as much knowledge as possible about this structure. Here are some important points to refresh your memory and help keep your chimney knowledge up to date.

  1. Get a professional chimney sweep at least once a year. Let’s start with possibly the most important aspect of chimney maintenance, the sweep. People are always warned to be the lookout for scams, but a good deal can be too hard to pass up. Your sweep should have references and adequate insurance.
  2. Get annual chimney inspections. During the cold season it only takes one little crack to set your chimney on the path to major damage. Skipping just one inspection could force you to deal with costly repairs and possibly endanger your family.
  3. Make fires properly. This is something some people take for granted, but setting the right fire actually increases chimney efficiency. Select the right wood, that is, wood that is dry and that was stored properly. Experts discourage the use of accelerants such as lighter fluid inside fireplaces, so use small pieces of paper to get the fire going.
  4. Protect the chimney with a liner. It is unusual to find a chimney without a liner these days, but if you have one, it is time to deal with it. A liner protects the chimney structure, and it also helps to shield the home’s interior from the intense heat. You will need some help from a chimney professional to get the right liner for your chimney as there are different types.
  5. Check the cap. A chimney cap can become loose, allowing water or small rodents to enter the chimney. Anyone who does not have a chimney cap should think about getting one.
  6. Monitor the flue. The flue is vital to the way the chimney operates. Blockage or a sticking flue can pose a sever hazard to the occupants of the home. Signs of flue problems include water in the fireplace or smoke inside the home when using the fireplace.

As a homeowner, you should know exactly what type of chimney you have. The basic types are pre-fabricated metal, single-walled metal, and masonry chimney. This will assist you in your maintenance efforts.

Give us a call at 610-626-2439 if Lou Curley’s Chimney Service can assist you with your chimney needs this year. Make sure to schedule your post-winter chimney inspection and cleaning by spring so we can get you on the schedule. Don’t wait until the end of summer, because that’s when our rush starts. Plan early and get it over with early.