With fall comes pumpkin spice coffee, ghouls and goblins, and relaxing by the fireplace. Even in warmer climates, a fireplace is a favorite home upgrade, making a room cozier, creating the perfect photo backdrop, and even supplementing the heat bills. You can benefit a lot from a fireplace, but is your fireplace ready for use? Lighting a fire in a dirty or unsafe fireplace is a bad idea and can put you at risk.
If you haven’t had a chimney sweep since last winter, your chimney is not ready for use. Every time you burn a fire in the fireplace, soot and creosote are deposited in the chimney interior. Additionally, while sitting there this summer, your chimney could have become home to critters or birds. Storms is another major factor, as it might have damaged the mortar, cap, or flashing to allow debris into your chimney.
There is no way to identify damage unless you hire a professional to come check it out. A certified chimney sweep knows what to look for, and they are have lots of experiences with chimneys and fireplaces. A standard chimney sweeping includes a thorough cleaning from top to bottom and a visible inspection of the exterior.
Both the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend to get your chimney cleaned regularly and inspected annually. A CSIA inspection is a thorough assessment of all accessible portions of the chimney system. Chimney systems that have been changed, used differently, or have sustained damage require a level two inspection. This includes a video scan. A level two inspection is also required when a property is sold or transferred.
Repairs and Prevention
Scheduling your chimney sweep and inspection now gives you plenty of time to make necessary repairs or changes before fall arrives. If your chimney professional identifies damage, big or small, it can be repaired now to avoid more damage. Waiting to repair masonry or replace missing or damaged parts allow water to enter your system to cause much more costly repairs.
At Hudson Chimney, we not only repair chimneys and fireplaces, but we can also waterproof your masonry. Our technicians can apply ChimneySaver’s Water Repellent, which protects the masonry from water penetration while still allowing heat and vapors out. This product is 100% vapor permeable, and this will not affect the look of the masonry. It also works for ten years.
If you’re not sure whether your fireplace and chimney are ready to use, call the professionals to check it out before taking a chance. Call Hudson Chimney at 904-282-4159 and get on our schedule now.