Tips for Chimney & Fireplace Care & Cleaning in Winter
How to care for your chimney and fireplace in winter is a question best asked prior to the arrival of the frosty season. Some tasks should be performed before winter and others during the throes of winter. As enjoyable as warming by a fireplace can be when the air outside is chilly, safety is number one. The care and cleaning of your chimney and fireplace are fundamental considerations for the protection of your home and family.
Chimney & Fireplace Care Before Winter
Winters are harsh on chimneys and can cause extensive damage. After each season of using your fireplace, its condition should be evaluated and any needed repairs should be made before the next winter rolls around.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection
Fire safety experts recommend that everyone with a fireplace and chimney schedule an annual chimney inspection. There are three levels of chimney inspections, as outlined by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Everything covered in a Level 1 inspection is also included with Level 2 and Level 3 inspections, though with increasing detail.
- A Level 1 chimney inspection is designed to ensure the soundness of basic appliance connections, the structure, and the flue liner. The chimney sweep ensures that the flue is not obstructed, whether by layered deposits of combustible creosote, debris such as leaves and twigs, animals, or nests.
- In a Level 2 chimney inspection, a special video camera is used to determine the condition of the flue liner from top to bottom. This type of inspection is required whenever a home or business with a fireplace is bought or sold, when the chimney survived a fire or weather damage, and when you are interested in making heavy use of the chimney.
- A Level 3 chimney inspection delves into hidden components of a chimney and is needed in connection with serious chimney issues.
Schedule Chimney Cleaning
For thousands of homeowners every year, the first use of the fireplace in the winter season results in a house fire. Most often, the cause of the fire is a dirty chimney. If you burn wood in your fireplace, flammable deposits of creosote are left behind with every fire. Regular cleaning is needed so that the chimney flue does not become blocked. Also, the chance of a dangerous chimney fire increases as creosote buildup worsens.
Schedule Chimney Cap Installation
A chimney cap is recommended for every chimney because rain, snow, and sleet pour into the flue and chimney system if there isn’t one. Moisture is a destructive force for chimneys and fireplaces. A chimney cap will also keep out debris and animals seeking warmth if you get a chimney cap with mesh. The mesh is highly recommended, as well, because critters are drawn to the warmth of chimneys in winter and tend to crawl, climb, or fly inside of them.
Chimney & Fireplace Care During Wintertime
When fireplace use has been made ready with above-referenced preparations, the job of chimney and fireplace care in winter is simple. Recommended steps for winter fireplace and chimney care are as follows:
- Routinely remove ash taking special care to follow safety instructions, such as removing the ash container from the home and placing it on a non-combustible surface.
- If the fireplace is smoking and you don’t know what the cause is in order to restore a healthy chimney draft, contact your trusted chimney sweep for help resolving the problem. There are various potential causes and life-threatening dangers associated with combustion gases going into your home instead of out through the chimney.
- Use only seasoned firewood, which means that the moisture content is below 20%. Home stores usually carry inexpensive devices for detecting the moisture level in logs.
- Freezing and falling cycles in winter often reveal that there has been moisture intrusion in chimney masonry. If you see bits of broken masonry around your chimney or on the ground below, contact a chimney sweep to determine the extent of chimney masonry damage. Unlike in former times, masonry repairs can be made in winter, if necessary.
Visit Yankee Doodle’s Destination Fireplace Showroom
Now that you know how uncomplicated chimney and fireplace care in winter can be, why not add one or more efficient fireplaces to your home and enjoy lower heating costs to boot? Imagining a new fireplace in your home is easy at Yankee Doodle, Inc. Stove & Fireplace Center. At any given time, a wide range of different fireplaces designs are operating in our destination showroom located at 848 Danbury Road in Wilton CT. Visit Yankee Doodle today or give us a call at 203-544-8111.