When the cool days of fall roll around, you want to be able to crank up your fireplace with peace of mind. This will happen if you know your fireplace and chimney are clean and in great shape. The best way to enjoy this peace of mind is to schedule an annual chimney cleaning and inspection during the warm months before professional hearth service companies get extremely busy.
There are reasons why you should get necessary chimney work done before temperatures start dropping:
Chimney sweeps often have more scheduling flexibility during spring, summer, and early fall. When the cold weather hits, it seems like everybody jumps on the bandwagon at once to schedule cleanings and inspections. It’s a lot easier and safer for chimney technicians to perform outside repair work during nice weather. Chimney repairs that involve mortar compounds (tuckpointing, smoke chamber parging, crown rebuilding, etc.) can be done better and faster before the cold of winter sets in.
For jobs such as chimney sweeping, firebox repair, damper replacement, and fireplace insert installation, crews will need to access the interior of your home. It’s easier for you to have people moving in and out of your house when the weather is nice as opposed to during a snow storm.
Key chimney maintenance tasks
Annual chimney maintenance centers around three primary objectives.
Remove flammable creosote and drafting obstructions from the flue
Creosote builds up in your flue every time you burn a fire. It can be sticky, flakey, or solid, but it is highly flammable in all forms. Annual chimney sweep service safely removes creosote with the aid of a variety of specialized brushes, scrubbers, solvents, and vacuums.
Chimney sweeping also removes drafting obstructions such as the nests of small animals and tree debris that may have entered your flue. The smoke that drafts inefficiently can back up into your home and carry with it deadly carbon monoxide. (If your flue contains obstructions from the world outside, a quality chimney cap will prevent future problems.)
Perform a basic chimney safety inspection
Certified chimney technicians perform all CSIA-recognized levels of chimney inspections. The basic inspection you should schedule once a year includes an examination of all visible areas of the chimney/fireplace system including the structural masonry, chimney cap/chase cover, chimney crown, roof flashing, firebox and more. Annual chimney inspections let you get on top of early signs of damage or malfunction and have them fixed before extensive – and expensive – repair work is needed.
Repair damage or address issues uncovered during the inspection
Your chimney inspector will alert you to any issues found during the inspection. Whether these problems are simple or complex, it’s important that they are addressed right away in order to keep your chimney running safely and smoothly.
All this work is best done during the warmer months so there will be plenty of time to engage in repairs and adjustments before firing up your fireplace for another season.
Northeastern Chimney of West Hartford, CT, provides CSIA-certified chimney cleaning, chimney inspections, and chimney repair services. Count on our expert team to help you ensure the safety and efficiency of your chimney every year. Reach us to schedule an appointment or get your questions answered at (860) 233-5770.