Fall has officially arrived! Shorter days, cooler temperatures and beautiful color-changing foliage mean winter is just around the corner – and the “burning season” for fireplaces has begun. Before heading to the pumpkin patch, going apple picking, or tailgating for your favorite team, now is the perfect time to schedule fall chimney maintenance. At Coopertown Services we have the tools and services to ensure your chimney system is ready for fall.
Have your chimney swept and inspected
Annual sweepings and inspections are arguably the most important part of chimney maintenance. During a chimney sweeping, our chimney technicians use brushes, vacuums, and other tools to remove soot, ash, and creosote from the fireplace and flue. Creosote removal is especially important as it helps prevent chimney fire; if flammable creosote accumulates in the flue without removal, it can ignite and cause a chimney fire.
Chimney inspections, often done at the same time as the chimney sweeping, involve checking all accessible portions of the interior and exterior of the fireplace and chimney.
“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”
A chimney inspection can help identify any areas of damage or deterioration, allowing repairs to be made before any major issues occur.
Check your chimney cap
The chimney cap is an important chimney component that prevents moisture, animals, and debris from entering into the flue. As fall arrives, a capped chimney is more important than ever; chimney caps keep falling leaves from clogging the flue, prevent rain from damaging fireplace components, and keep animals seeking shelter from the cold out of the chimney.
Good chimney caps should correctly fit the flue; holes, gaps, or spaces allow water, debris, or animals into the chimney. Likewise, chimney caps should have mesh or wire sides in addition to the solid metal top. This allows smoke and gas to safely vent from the chimney while still keeping leaves out.
Address repairs that need to be made
If damage to the fireplace or chimney is identified during the chimney inspection, fall is the perfect time to address these repairs. During the winter, freezing temperatures and wintery weather conditions make many repairs difficult – if not impossible – to complete. Because of this, it is recommended to have any chimney repairs made before winter weather arrives.
Many chimney issues are made worse by winter weather. Masonry damage, in particular, can be exacerbated by winter weather conditions; the freeze-thaw process can cause significant masonry damage in as little as one winter. The freeze-thaw process occurs when water is absorbed through small holes or cracks in the masonry. As temperatures drop the water freezes and expands; this creates progressively larger holes that can then absorb more water and continue to worsen.
Make sure your chimney system is ready for the arrival of winter by having any necessary chimney repairs made this fall. To schedule your next chimney sweeping or inspection, contact the chimney experts at Coopertown Services today!