Fall is a great time to check your chimney and flue and make sure they are in tip-top shape. If your fireplace is not properly maintained, then it won’t operate as efficiently as it should during the colder months.
Start your fireplace maintenance checklist with the following tasks.
Inspect the Chimney Exterior
Check if the chimney is tilting or if there are any chipped bricks, cracks or holes. For factory-built metal chimneys, look for corrosion, stains or loose sections. Moreover, make sure to check if your chimney is exposed to your attic and search for any signs indicating necessary repairs.
Install or Replace the Chimney Cap
Chimney caps help reduce chimney damage caused by water and wildlife. If your chimney is uncapped, rain and snow can enter and subsequently freeze and thaw, causing damage. Small wildlife can also nest in exposed chimneys, clogging them and potentially introducing disease-causing germs into your home. Use a chimney cap with screen mesh to keep animals out while shielding your roof from embers and sparks.
Look for Chimney Leaks or Stains
Inside your house, check the area around your chimney for stains or dampness. These could be caused by faulty flashing or a damaged flue liner. If you see signs of water around your chimney, contact a chimney repair contractor immediately.
Check if the Flue Needs Cleaning or Repair
Open the clean-out door from the base of the flue. This is located either in your basement or outside the house. Using a small mirror and flashlight, look for soot buildup as well as cracks, holes or separations. If in doubt, call a chimney expert for a professional inspection and cleaning.
Consult our experts at Batts’ Chimney Services for your fireplace maintenance needs. To schedule an appointment, call us at (205) 956-8207 (Greater Birmingham Area) or (256) 660-1338 (Northern Alabama). You can also fill out our contact form to request an estimate.