As you think about lighting a cozy fire as the winter draws in, it’s important to ensure the chimney maintenance is taken care of. Doing so can help safeguard against any safety risks when you finally do use the fireplace.

Here are five chimney maintenance tips for keeping it safe, clean, and ready for winter.

1. Protect the Top of the Flue

Chimney sweep cleaning a chimney standing on the house roof, lowering equipment down the flueTake preventative precautions with your chimney flue to minimalize the maintenance you’ll need to carry out on it later.

In the spring, summer, and autumn, when your fireplace is not being frequently used, birds and small animals can roost or nest around the top of the flue. The spring is also a time for pollen and blossoms to get trapped down it, and the autumn the same often happens with falling, dead leaves.

This can build up and clog the flue, and be a danger hazard when you start lighting fires again.

Protect the top of the chimney by arranging for some chicken wire or appropriate netting to be affixed to the top. This will help stop objects from getting inside. A chimney cap can also be installed.

2. Protect Outer Brickwork with Water Repellent

Duct tape off any painted chimney flashings before spraying water repellent on the outer chimney brickwork, from the bottom to the top. You should apply two coats of this.

Leave this to dry for an hour and remove the duct tape afterward, making sure that the roof tarps are left in place. Use a low-pressure, garden pump spray to apply the repellent.

This treatment ensures less outside damage by rain and the elements to the flue. A damp chimney will lead to problems going forward.

3. Seal Any Cracks

Cracks are bad news when it comes to a brick or concrete chimney. They can get worse as time goes on if left untreated too.

Obtain some chimney sealant and apply this to the areas of the flue that are suffering from chips, cracks, or gaps in the bricks. By doing this, you are stopping a speedy deterioration of the chimney. You should enlist a professional to fix any cracks though, as they will need expert attention.

4. Clear Out the Ashes

The fireplace will have collected ash and soot after heavy use in the winter. Leaving remnants of this over the off-season months will only lead to a buildup of decay. This will prove harder to clean later on and can lower the air quality in your home.

Clean this out when you’re not using the chimney. This will make for cleaner air and a much more aesthetically-pleasing fireplace.

5. Schedule a Sweep

It’s imperative that a chimney is swept regularly, and off-season is the best time to do it to avoid the risk of chimney fires. For this, call on an expert who can give it the expert attention it needs.

Looking for Expert Help With Your Chimney Maintenance?

These tips will certainly help you with the maintenance required ahead of the cold season. But perhaps you’re looking for expert hands?

When you choose The Chimney Expert for your chimney maintenance, you can count on our trained and licensed Milwaukee-area personnel to give you the best workmanship possible. And you can also count on us to treat your home as if it is our own.

Contact our chimney pros today to schedule an appointment!