As the winter season approaches, you’ll need to make sure you have all your heating systems working. If your home has a traditional fireplace, don’t wait until you actually need it before you perform maintenance. Your local chimney sweep, Chimney Doctors, shares some of the things you can do to maintain your chimney.
TIP: Clean the Fireplace in the Off-Season
Start with removing the ashes from the fireplace. Protect the surrounding areas with newspapers to avoid spreading the ashes around. Wear an old shirt or something you won’t mind getting dirty. Using a fireplace shovel, carefully shovel the ashes into a bucket. Don’t rush this part to avoid having the ashes fly around. Use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to remove the rest.
It’s better if you can clean the fireplace during the spring or summer so you don’t have to worry about it once the cold season begins. During winter, make sure the ashes don’t pile up more than two inches.
TIP: Check if the Chimney Needs a New Flue Liner
The flue liner is the “throat” of your chimney. It’s a metal tube that connects from the fireplace all the way to the roof. It helps protect the brickwork from heat and soot, and makes it easier to clean. If you’ve had the same chimney for years, a professional can help you determine if you need a new flue liner. Chimney relining only takes an hour or two, but it’s better to have it installed in the off-season.
TIP: Inspect Your Chimney From the Outside
Chimney maintenance is best left to professionals, but it doesn’t mean you can’t inspect your own chimney and make sure it’s in good condition. Before you climb your roof, make sure you have a steady ladder and are using proper safety equipment. Check the chimney cap, and make sure it’s clean. A wire screen or grille should be guarding the entrance, and if it’s torn or knocked out of place, have it repaired as soon as possible. Also, check the flashing at the point where the chimney meets the roof as it could lead to water intrusion in both the attic and chimney.
To learn more about our services, including chimney masonry repair, call Chimney Doctors today at (518) 633-5900. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We serve Clifton Park, NY, and surrounding areas.