Tips For Preparing Your Fireplace For Winter

December 19, 2013

fireplaceAs winter begins to settle in and place its icy cold grip on our homes it is time to perform some steps that will ensure your fireplace is ready for winter.  In addition to ensuring that the flue is in proper working order, there are some other things you should do before you light that first log, according to Dean Graziosi.

To prepare your fireplace and ensure that it works properly throughout the winter, you should take a few minutes to visually inspect your chimney from the outside.  You should take note if you notice any leaning, masonry joints that need repair, or any chipped bricks.  You should also look for any holes or cracks that can affect the functionality of your fireplace.  If your fireplace is constructed from metal, you should look for any stains, areas that have become loose, or any corrosion.  If you can get to your fireplace through your attic, you should inspect that section as well.

After you have carefully inspected the exterior of your chimney you should move onto the chimney cap.  A properly functioning chimney cap will reduce any damaged caused to your chimney by animals and water.  If your chimney is uncapped, snow and rain can find their way in and freeze which can cause damage to your fireplace.  If any animals have built nests in your chimney, those nests may create clogs which can expose you and your family to worms, ticks, and fleas.  To ensure that animals cannot gain access to your chimney, you should use a chimney cap that includes screen mesh.

On the interior of your home, you should carefully inspect the area surrounding your chimney for any wetness or stains that may indicate water leakage.  These leaks may be caused by deteriorated flashing surrounding the chimney near the roof line.  Leaks can also occur by a damaged flue liner that may have become damaged by weather and time.  If you notice any signs of water near your chimney, you should call a chimney expert at once.

The next area that you should pay attention to is the flue.  During this step, you should open the clean out door located at the base of the flue and using a flashlight you should look up the flue looking for any signs of soot buildup and any cracks, separation, and holes.  If you see anything that causes you any concern, you should contact your local chimney professional to inspect your chimney and give it a thorough cleaning.

The final step you should take in preparing your fireplace for winter is to inspect the brickwork in your fireplace looking for any signs of wear and damage.  During this step, you should also inspect the damper.  Your damper should open and close without any problems and be easy to operate.  If you notice any signs of problems, you should not hesitate to call a professional to thoroughly inspect the interior of your fireplace.

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