7 Tips for Off-Season Fireplace & Chimney Maintenance
Each season has things that you can enjoy only during those few short months of the year, such as a crackling fire in the fireplace during chilly winter nights. Whatever your favorite off-season activities, it’s a great idea to add chimney and fireplace maintenance to your list of spring or summer activities. The level of enjoyment you have of your fireplace during the coming winter may depend on what you do in the meantime. Chimneys need maintenance for optimal performance, and sometimes they need repair, though it isn’t always obvious. Check out the following off-season tips for your fireplace and chimney.
Chimneys get rough treatment inside and out, which is why annual inspections are very important. On the interior, the flu is exposed to extreme temperatures and acidic creosote deposits. If you don’t have a chimney cap, the deterioration of your flue can be expected to occur sooner, since the mix of moisture and creosote can easily cause damage.
On the exterior, extreme weather conditions wear away at the mortar and masonry. The sooner damage is identified, the better, since moisture damage gets very expensive, if there is a delay in getting needed repairs.
By depending on chimney sweep professionals for a chimney inspection, you can be sure that any problems that exist will be identified. If you get a spring or summer inspection, you leave more room for damages to be repaired before winter weather returns.
Although an annual inspection is a must, according to all fire safety organizations, there are differing opinions about when cleaning should be done. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) suggests cleaning the chimney when 1/8” or more of creosote has built up in the lining. Keep in mind, though, that more creosote begins to be added as soon as you begin lighting fires again in winter. The layer continues to thicken. We agree with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that an annual cleaning is the best practice. It will also help you avoid having odors coming from the chimney when the weather is hot.
By scheduling chimney maintenance in spring or summer, you beat the rush of requests for chimney care in fall. This means you are more likely to get the appointment time most convenient for you.
4-Have a chimney cap installed
Chimney caps are essential accessories that keep rain, snow, sleet, and debris from falling directly into your chimney. They also keep animals out, if mesh is included. It could be you have a chimney cap but it’s been damaged or outlived its useful lifespan. Having it replaced before winter is an excellent thing to check off your to-do list.
5-Have a cricket installed
Do you have a steep roof that inundates your chimney with water every time it rains? Perhaps you’ve been aware that a cricket is needed, to protect and extend the life of your chimney. A cricket is an added ridge in the roofline that diverts water.
Since H2O is a chimney’s number one enemy, having your chimney waterproofed is a smart way to add an extra layer of protection. Once masonry has been compromised with moisture, the chimney could begin leaning or could collapse altogether. Waterproofing is recommended.
7-Enjoy your fireplace off-season
The fireplace doesn’t have to be a waste of space when heat isn’t needed. Clean out your fireplace and add the décor of your choice, to keep the fireplace securely in its role as a favorite focal point in the home.
Contact us at Chimney Solutions today for help with chimney maintenance, repair, and installation year-around.