Enjoying a crackling fire on a cold, blustery day is one of the joys of having a fireplace. A home with a working fireplace is cozier than a home without, but it also requires proper upkeep. An adequately maintained chimney prevents various potential problems, including water damage from moisture, the spread of fire beyond the fireplace, and the crumbling of the chimney itself. A little bit of time and money spent now can prevent much more expensive repairs later.
Regular Chimney Cleaning
The more you use your fireplace, the more often you need to have your chimney professionally cleaned. Tar and soot from burning wood build up inside your chimney over time and increases the chances of a chimney fire that can spread to the walls of your home. A good rule of thumb is to have your chimney cleaned by a professional after every fifty uses.
Keep Your Chimney in Good Repair
The bricks and mortar of your chimney will crumble and flake over time, leading to water damage. Have your chimney regularly inspected for water damage and invest in chimney tuckpointing to repair damaged mortar before it becomes a problem. Making sure the brickwork and mortar are solid and stable now minimizes the chances your chimney will collapse or leak down the road.
Have Your Chimney Bricks Sealed
Professionally applied sealants can dramatically slow any chimney damage due to natural elements. A suitable brick sealant allows the brick to breathe so that moisture can evaporate while not allowing new moisture to seep into the porous surface of the bricks. Brickworks Property Restoration can evaluate your chimney and advise you of the best sealant for your style of brick. As a bonus, the bricks will look cleaner and refreshed after sealing.
Annual Chimney Inspections
While you may spot obvious problems when you look at your chimney, there may be problems below the surface you can’t see. Hiring a chimney inspector to evaluate the structure can prevent minor problems from turning into major ones. An inspector will look for issues such as brick and mortar integrity, appropriate flashing, the chimney lining, and the surrounding areas.
Make Sure the Damper is Working Properly
The damper helps you control the flow of air in and around the fire and should always be closed when the fireplace isn’t in use to prevent rain, snow, and debris from coming into the chimney. With the damper closed, your home will lose less heat in the winter due to drafts. A closed damper can also stop birds and bats from entering your home. If you can’t open and close the damper or easily adjust it, have it repaired.
Neglecting proper chimney maintenance is never a good idea, as it can lead to dangerous and expensive damage. Maintaining your chimney in proper working order can save a lot of money that won’t have to be spent later on costly damage repairs.