Prepare Your Fireplace For a Winter Storm
Winter is upon us. Along with that comes snow, ice, periods of warming and freezing, and even extreme storms. All of these various weather fluctuations can lead to damage to your chimney structure. Is your home ready to face an unexpected situation such as this? If not, here are some ways to prepare your fireplace for use before a winter storm hits.
First things first, get an inspection
If you haven’t had a yearly chimney inspection and cleaning from Chimney Specialists, Inc, then call us right away! This is your first line of defense when preparing your chimney for the winter. Our technicians will ensure your masonry is sound and all damage-prevention components are in place. In addition, we’ll remove any creosote lining the inside of your flue.
Keep it covered
A chimney cap is one of the most essential sections of your chimney’s structure. This uppermost component helps to prevent small animals and yard debris from entering your flue. It also redirects moisture away from the chimney opening and to your chimney crown, where it is redirected away from your masonry.
Repair any masonry issues
Cracked and broken masonry is one the foremost ways that moisture can enter your chimney. As brick and mortar are porous materials, moisture combined with the freeze-and-thaw cycle we see in our area can lead to major chimney damage.
As the moisture expands and contracts with the changing temperatures, this weakens the structure. This, in turn, starts a cycle of even more damage. If our team finds cracks in your masonry, they will remove and replace the damaged sections. Additionally, they will also apply a layer of waterproof sealant to help protect against further erosion.
Consider adding a second damper
Most fireplace owners are aware of the throat damper just inside their firebox. When burning a fire, this needs to be left open. But, when not in use it should be in the closed position.
Leaving your damper open all the time exposes your home to the elements. However, even when closed, sections of your flue can be exposed to weather conditions all year long. Consider adding a top-sealing damper that can be closed when your fireplace is not in use. This will protect the entire structure from moisture damage, leaves, and animals that can cause problems inside your chimney.
Replace old or worn chimney components
Just like your vehicle or home appliances, the components of your chimney and fireplace can wear down with age. The chimney damper may no longer seal as tightly as it once did. The sealing gaskets on your door may be past their prime. Or perhaps there are cracks in your cap.
While these parts still function, they are no longer doing their job efficiently. This can also lead to damage and larger unexpected chimney repair costs.
Get ahead of winter storms with a proactive plan
Don’t wait until the storm arrives or you notice damage to take care of your chimney! Add it to a yearly to-do list with your other winter prep items to ensure your chimney and fireplace are safe and ready to warm your home.
If you need to schedule an inspection or cleaning, contact Chimney Specialists, Inc by calling (608) 929-4887 or send us a message.