If you depend on your chimney for home heating, the last thing you want is to deal with repairs during the coldest days of winter. As days grow shorter and nights get chillier, take the opportunity to assess your chimney’s condition and fix any issues before starting up your fireplace for the first time. Here are four repairs to cross off your list before the winter season arrives.
Chimney Cap and Liner Installation
A chimney cap is a cover that protects the top of your chimney from rain, snow, and debris, and a chimney liner is a metal tube that prevents fumes from being released into the chimney. Both of these parts are essential for the safe operation of your wood-burning stove or fireplace, so consider replacing worn or damaged caps and liners before winter.
Your chimney’s damper controls the flow of smoke and air through the chimney flue, and a malfunctioning damper can cause a fire or fill your home with smoke. Inspect your damper every year to make sure it’s functioning properly. If your damper is loose or sticks, consider replacing it before winter to keep your chimney safe. You should also take this time to test your home’s smoke detector system and replace any expired or malfunctioning units.
Brick or Masonry Work
Is your home in need of exterior chimney repair? Cracks, chips, and missing bricks are not only unsightly but also allow air to seep in, compromising your chimney’s safety and efficiency. The best time to take care of any brick or masonry work is before winter because cold temperatures make it difficult for the materials to cure properly.
Pest and Debris Removal
Is your chimney infested with roof rats or clogged with leaves? It’s best to deal with pest and debris removal before winter to avoid fires and unpleasant smells when you first light up your fireplace. An exterminator can take care of any live animal infestations with poisons or traps. If birds have made a home in your chimney, you must wait until they have vacated before removing any nests, eggshells, or droppings.
Remember to put safety first when performing chimney repairs any time of the year. If you plan to do the repairs yourself, use a sturdy ladder, and always have at least one other person on site. Have your DIY repairs inspected by a professional before using your chimney to ensure that everything was done correctly and meets current safety standards.