Prepare Your Chimney for Winter

Safety

Prepare Your Chimney for Winter

Prepare Your Chimney for Winter

The winter season is the best time for a warm, cozy fire. As the Mid-Ohio Valley welcomes cold temperatures this winter, make sure that your fireplace and chimney are clean and safe.

Creosote buildup

This occurs as your chimney experiences increased use, and can be dangerous if not taken care of. As creosote levels increase within your chimney, your risk of a chimney fire increases as well. Creosote is more likely to occur when the temperature of the chimney is much cooler than that of the fireplace. If you regularly ignite your fireplace during the winter months, check to make sure that creosote levels are minimal and have Grogg’s inspect your chimney’s interior as well. You’ll be able to identify creosote by looking for dark-colored material inside of your chimney that resembles tar.

Seasoned wood

Crucial for maintaining a healthy fireplace and chimney during the winter. Seasoned wood has dried for at least six months, thus reducing moisture and creosote buildup within the chimney. Well-seasoned logs make a sharp ring when struck against each other and appear cracked on the ends. When lit, they should burn easily and not release any steam.

Ash buildup

After lighting a winter fire make sure to remove ashes when completely cooled. Dispose of them safely to ensure that they do not reignite. A rule of thumb is to clean your firebox once a week or before ashes reach one inch in height.

Chimney caps

Can be open doors for critters looking for refuge this winter, as well as victims of nearby branches that fall  during snow, ice, or wintry storms. Make sure that your chimney cap is structurally sound and has proper protective screening to keep animals and pests out. Trim any nearby branches to protect your chimney’s exterior.

Cold and smoky airflow problems

Problems occur in winter if the temperature difference between your chimney and the outdoor air is significant. Referred to as the “stack effect” or “chimney effect,” warm air from your chimney is overcome by cold air from outside. Although these airflow problems are generally the result of a chimney’s overall structure or installation style, issues can be reduced by making sure the home is thoroughly insulated and the chimney is properly sealed.

Annual inspections

Nationally Certified Inspectors ensure chimney’s are prepared for the cold season. Be sure to have your chimney inspected at least once a year and contact an expert if you notice something suspicious. The Grogg’s Chimney team (formerly Keeling Chimney Service) is serving the Mid Ohio Valley — contact us to learn more about how you can protect your chimney this winter.