Prepping the hearth for the season…

Getting Your Fireplace Ready for Winter

Jennifer Noonan | bobvila.com | November 4, 2013 | link

Source: Viscusi Elson Interior Design

Source: Viscusi Elson Interior Design

As days get shorter and weather gets colder, we retreat indoors to the warmth of our homes and hearths. If you have a fireplace, fall is a great time to make sure the chimney and flue are in good working order. If your assessment uncovers any issues that give you pause, call in a chimney professional to diagnose the problem before it gets big, expensive and potentially dangerous.

Exterior

Visually assess the chimney from the outside. Is it leaning? Are there any chipped bricks or masonry joints? Do you see any cracks or holes? If your chimney is factory-built metal, look for any corrosion, stains or loose sections. If your chimney is exposed to your attic, make sure to check there as well. Look for any signs indicating repairs are necessary.

Chimney cap

A good cap can reduce damage caused to a chimney by water and wildlife. Rain and snow can enter an uncapped chimney, and subsequently freeze and thaw, causing expansion damage. Small wildlife can nest in chimneys, creating clogs and potentially introducing fleas, ticks, worms and other disease-causing pests to your home. A chimney cap with screen mesh will keep animals out while shielding your roof from embers and sparks.

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