Summer is drawing to an end, which means falling leaves, weather changes, and neighborhood critters getting ready for winter. Every season has its to-do list of home maintenance tasks and important repairs that keep your home secure and in good condition. One area often overlooked by homeowners is their chimney. Below we discuss three key reasons to ensure your autumn checklist includes a chimney inspection.
The grate that surrounds the top of your chimney is an important fixture. It protects one of your home's biggest openings from letting unwanted animals and leaves inside, all without restricting the airflow that makes your fireplace safe to use. If your chimney cap is missing or part of the grille that encircles the opening is broken, then it's important to get the chimney fixed before the cold weather comes. As a homeowner, you don't want animals or birds trying to fight their way into the warmth that your chimney represents.
Your chimney is almost always the least water-resistant part of your roof. It causes a break in the protection that shingles offer. The side that faces the peak of your roof also forms an angle that allows rain, snow, and ice to accumulate. Have an expert check the chimney both for visible cracks as well as gaps in the flashing below the shingles. It's important to get any holes sealed before rainy weather and freezes set in.
Even with chimney caps and well-designed chimneys, debris can still collect inside of the chimney. It’s important to note the interior of your chimney might have flammable material for a variety of reasons including previous fires or organic material that worked its way inside. This is especially likely if you use your fireplace often during cold weather. Have the inside of your chimney cleaned or at least inspected for fire risks so that you can light your fireplace with peace of mind.