Winter is officially here, and if you take a look at what’s happening on the East Coast with the extreme cold, we thought we’d put together a quick post to help our customers determine if their chimneys are in good shape to handle the extra chilly times that seem to stretch between January and February in Seattle. Here’s a quick checklist from Powers CM to make sure your chimney is up to snuff for the Seattle winter.
Check the Chimney Cap
Check it if you got it! If you don’t, you should absolutely opt for Chimney Cap Installation. Chimney caps keep moisture, debris, and (nastiest of all) critters out of your chimney.
Check the Flashing
The flashing is that thin strip of metal that wraps around the seam where your chimney and roof meet. Take a look to make sure the flashing is fully intact. If it’s damaged or warped, make sure to have it replaced or repaired. Flashing that isn’t up to snuff will cause leaks and damage to the masonry.
Check the Damper
Make sure your damper opens and closes completely and creates a tight seal. Dampers often become rusted and damper seals can become warped or damaged from normal use. A bad seal or damper will allow cool outside air in, increasing your energy costs.
Check For Creosote or Heavy Soot
Left behind by ash and smoke vapor, soot and creosote are unavoidable by-products of chimney use. They are also the leading causes of chimney fires. When either of these accumulates on the inside of your chimney to an inch in depth, it’s time to call in a professional chimney sweep.
Check for Any Damage
Damage to any part of your chimney or chimney components needs to be addressed immediately if you plan to use your fireplace this winter.
Keep an eye out for rust in metal flues, cracking in clay flue liners, and poorly installed clay-tile chimney liners. Concrete left between clay-tile joints will inhibit a thorough cleaning and can lead to further damage or leaks.
Check for Debris (Animals, Branches, Other Obstructions)
If you live in an older home, or, especially, one without a chimney cap, check your chimney and flue for debris. Debris in your chimney is very dangerous and can cause chimney fires.
Check Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers
This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard it, but hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Make sure all of the necessary safety precautions you should have as a homeowner with a fireplace are up to snuff.
Call Your Local Seattle Chimney Repair Specialist
It’s great to run through the checklist on your own, but, when it comes to your chimney, it’s best to have an expert get their hands dirty and their feet on a ladder. At Powers CM, we’re ready to provide all of the care and know-how your heart of your home needs.