It may be the hottest part of the year right now, but it is the perfect time to start preparing your chimney for winter. You will want to make sure that your chimney is safe to use when you want to build your first fire of the season. Summertime chimney inspections and cleanings are much easier to schedule than fall because fall is when most homeowners start looking at weatherproofing their home and remember the chimney cleaning.

Here are 5 ways to prepare your chimney for winter:

  1. The first thing that you should do before you use your chimney is have it cleaned. You will want to have a professional come in and clean out all of the creosote that has built up inside the chimney.
  2. Once your chimney is cleaned, they can then inspect your chimney to make sure that there aren’t any cracked or loose bricks or mortar, rust or any other structural problems. You will want to have all of these problems fixed before you start your first fire. They can also weatherproof your chimney to make sure that water cannot get into the bricks or inside the chimney.
  3. A proper chimney cap that is not damaged will keep out more than the rain and snow. It will also keep out any small animals that are looking for a shelter that is warm. You do not want any animals living in your chimney, because they can cause a blockage in the chimney. If the chimney is blocked when you have a fire going, it can turn into a chimney fire rather quickly.
  4. You will want to stock up on seasoned wood to use in your fireplace. Seasoned wood has less moisture content and it will leave less creosote buildup inside the chimney when burned.
  5. One thing that you need to do quite often during the winter is clean the ashes out of the fireplace. It can be dangerous to leave a thick layer of ashes in the bottom of the fireplace and we recommend cleaning them out before they reach one inch in height. You will need to make sure that they are cool before you remove them and only dispose of them in a safe place where they cannot reignite. If you didn’t clean the ashes out well after last winter, now is the time to get the fireplace clean before the next winter season begins.

Fireplaces can be nice for heat and ambiance during the winter months, but you need to make sure that it is safe for you to use. By preparing now, you will be making sure that you can safely use your fireplace as soon as the first snowflake falls.

We perform all types of chimney inspections, cleanings, and minor repairs here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service. Our Chimney Sweeps are CSIA Certified and participate in continued education programs throughout the year. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to discuss any chimney problems you may be experiencing or to schedule an appointment for a consultation, inspection, or cleaning.