How To Prepare Your Chimney and Fireplace For Winter

Winter is right around the corner, and while many homeowners may use their fireplace occasionally in fall to deal with a chilly evening or two, winter is when they’ll rely on them the most. So, now is the time to get your fireplace and chimney ready to battle Old Man Winter, and here are a few tips to keep you safe and ensure your fire burns efficiently.

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Schedule an Inspection

Before you do anything else, hire a professional chimney sweep for an inspection. A professional has the training and experience to identify potential issues, like cracked bricks, missing mortar, or damaged chimney caps, that could put you at risk of a fire or lead to major repairs down the road. Scheduling an inspection early in the fall allows you ample time to make minor repairs if needed.

Clean the Chimney

The National Fire Protection Association recommends cleaning your chimney at least once a year. A professional chimney sweep will remove creosote buildup from the previous season and other debris that could lead to a chimney fire. Creosote is one of the leading causes of chimney fires in the United States, so it’s crucial you remove it before using your fireplace.

Inspect the Gaskets and Seals

Check the gaskets and seals on any doors or dampers attached to the fireplace. Over time, these can deteriorate and fail, leading to drafts and inefficiency. 

Check the Damper

The damper seals the chimney when you’re not using your fireplace. This keeps heat in after your fire goes out and prevents water from getting in through the chimney. Ensure the damper works correctly and that no debris or corrosion prevents it from opening and closing smoothly.

Make Repairs Now

If your chimney professional detects damage or defects, don’t put off repairs until the last minute. Common chimney repairs include sealing cracks, fixing damaged bricks, crown and cap repair, and waterproofing. Experts recommend fixing minor issues as soon as possible because waiting can make the damage worse and more expensive.

Stock Up on High-Quality Firewood

Obviously, you need wood to run your fireplace during winter, but if you’re new to owning a fireplace, you can’t simply burn any wood you find. Well, you could, but you shouldn’t. 

You should only use seasoned firewood to get the most out of your fireplace and reduce creosote buildup. Freshly cut or “green” wood contains too much moisture, which produces more smoke, leading to increased creosote buildup. Ideally, wood should be seasoned for at least six months before use and stored in a dry place away from the house to discourage pests. 

Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Many people associate having carbon monoxide (CO) detectors with gas fireplaces, but burning wood is also a potential source of CO. Test to ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working, and replace the batteries or the unit itself if necessary. 

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Let Us Prepare Your Chimney for Winter

Chimney Solutions is the trusted local professional for all your chimney and fireplace needs. Our technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, so you can trust their work to be safe and accurate. We specialize in chimney sweeping, inspections, masonry repairs, waterproofing, and rebuilds. And we’re committed to providing a 5-star customer experience on every job. 

Call the Pros at Chimney Solutions

Chimney Solutions is the number one chimney service company, serving homeowners in Atlanta and Indiana. People trust us because our technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America, and we’re members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild. Our experts can handle everything related to your fireplace and chimney, including repairs, inspection, cleaning, repair and rebuilding, liner installation, and more. 

In Atlanta, call us at 770–255–1300, and in Indiana, call 317–757–6979. Schedule your appointment today.

Chimney Solutions
1155 McFarland 400 Drive AlpharettaGA30004 USA 
 • (770) 255-1300
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