The summer months are coming to a close. That means fall is upon us and of course winter is just around the corner. When the temperatures drop, fireplaces are going to get a lot more use. It’s important that you take this time to prepare your chimney for use. If you haven’t had a chimney inspection, or you haven’t cleaned it out yet, the cool weather will tempt you to start a fire. Before you do that, consider a few things to check on to ensure your home is ready.
Thoroughly Clean the Chimney
The interior of your fireplace and chimney collects dust, debris, soot, ash, and carbon. These layers can end up causing a fire if not swept. Cleaning requires more than just sweeping and brushing. It requires attention to the lining, and removal of all dust and settlements that can come off. Any hazardous deposits have to be removed in order to ensure that a fire is not started with the fumes or elements. A thorough cleaning should be done before the colder winter months hit.
The Exterior Elements
Chimneys require inspection on the outside as much as the inside. There should be no damage to the masonry. If there are cracks, breaks in brick, or flashing that has worn away, repairs need to be made immediately to prevent water damage to your home. This will ensure that the fireplace is safe, and the roofing doesn’t usher in water if it rains. Moisture is a huge enemy to a home’s interior, and can cause a lot of damage. Fixing exterior elements can protect against a variety of issues, including mold.
Fixing Chimney Caps
Your chimney cap can be damaged over time. With normal wear and tear, even the best placed cap can succumb to the elements. As a result, this should be inspected, fixed, and upgraded if it needs to be. Most often, a visual inspection can suffice, but going on the roof and looking closer is going to deliver peace of mind as well. Keeping this in place will ensure moisture doesn’t seep into the chimney and cause damage to the lining, or interior of your fireplace.
Lou Curley’s Chimney Service
The Chimney Sweeps at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service in Drexel Hill are CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) Certified. This isn’t necessarily a requirement when you hire a chimney sweep, but it should be. This certification means that we have put the additional time into our trade to extend our education beyond that of the average sweep. We are also F.I.R.E Certified, National Fireplace Institute Certified, IAFCI Certified, C-DET Certified, and licensed Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractors. We feel that our ongoing education sets us apart from the competition because we’re always learning and improving our skills, even outside work.
Call us any time at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning, or for a consultation regarding waterproofing your chimney. Remember to schedule battery changes for your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector at the same time as your yearly chimney inspection so everything is taken care of and ready to go for winter.