As the chilly winter days are fading away, spring will be here before we know it! The temperature is steadily rising, and your fireplace will be getting less and less use. If you’re gearing up to complete some spring cleaning this season, adding some simple chimney maintenance to your list will ensure your fireplace is good to go next fall. If you’re wondering how to maintain your chimney, the expert roofers at Bachman’s are sharing their end-of-winter chimney checklist so your fireplace stays healthy all winter long.
Clean Out the Firebox
The first step in your chimney cleaning checklist should include cleaning out your firebox. The firebox in your fireplace is where the fire burns. This task is as simple as removing leftover ash after each use and it’s something you can do yourself. Leaving your firebox filled with ash after a long winter can leave your home at risk for several problems including bad smells and possible deterioration of your fireplace.
Schedule an Inspection and Cleaning
The Chimney Institute of America (CSIA) recommends having your chimney properly cleaned and inspected by a professional at least once a year. Soot can build up in your fireplace and when this happens, a by-product called creosote is created. Creosote is highly flammable and if not cleaned frequently, you run the risk of a chimney fire or improper damper operation. The Bachman’s team will use specialized tools to remove the soot buildup. They can also visually inspect your chimney and look for any imperfections like leaky flashing, poorly built crowns or damaged chase covers. Try scheduling your appointment during the end of the season to give you plenty of time to take care of any problems you may have before the blustery winter weather strikes.
Close the Damper and Fire Doors
After your inspection, cleaning and any necessary repairs you may have completed, the last box to checkoff on your list is closing the damper and the fire doors. The damper is a valve or plate located inside your chimney that stops the flow of air. During the winter, your damper should be left open to allow smoke to escape through your chimney. During the spring and summer, when your fireplace isn’t in use, it is best to close your damper and fire doors to prevent pests from entering and to minimize your air conditioning escaping through your chimney.
If you own a gas fireplace, remember to turn off the pilot light. This stays on during times of frequent use but if you don’t plan on using your fireplace in the spring and summer, turn it off to reduce unnecessary energy usage and to save money on your monthly bills.
At Bachman’s, we have every aspect of your roof covered. From repairs, replacements and inspections to chimney repairs and solar installations, our experts can do it all. If you’re wondering how to properly maintain your chimney this spring, we guarantee we can provide you with the best services in the Greater Philadelphia area. Call us today to schedule a meeting at 1-800-922-5818 or contact us with any questions.