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Chimney Maintenance Tips and Hacks

Post by : dminCMC


fireplace and chimney

Yes, you get your chimney repaired when something goes wrong, you have it cleaned regularly, and you get it inspected in winters—but is that enough?

We’ve got some additional ideas for long-term chimney maintenance!

Hack #1: Store Wood Outside the House

Keep wood outside the house in a clean area that isn’t damp. Ensure that there are no pestering vermin around to eat away at the wood. You can also keep it inside, but we’d suggest you keep it separate and vermin-free. This way you ensure that the wood is unadulterated and fresh in the long-term when you need it.

Hack #2: Repair the Flashing

house with chimney

There’s metal flashing between the roof and the chimney that acts as a protective layer, keeping water from seeping into the structure. Small animals, such as squirrels, can easily damage this flashing. We’d suggest you keep an eye on it and repair it the moment you see any damage.

Hack #3: Choosing Your Firewood

Choosing between softwoods and hardwoods is definitely difficult, but here’s a basic rundown: softwoods are cheaper—we’re talking about options that include cedar, poplar, spruce, etc. However, they do leave a nasty cakey ash and you’ll run out of them quicker. Hardwoods are expensive—such as oak, birch, ash, and maple. They do, however, last longer; and their ash is easier to clean.

If the budget allows, we’d say go straight for the hardwoods.

Hack #4: Keep the Outside Proper

The inside of the chimney is the domain of professionals. You’ll need to call an expert chimney repair technician if you suspect something is wrong. The outside, however, is something you can fix with just a ladder and some tools.

We’d say keep inspecting the chimney from the outside for any cracks and patches, and fix them. You can perform brick replacements, repointing, and even caulking on your own. This keeps the structure of the chimney intact, which is directly linked to its longevity.

Hack #5: When in Trouble, Call a Professional

Is your chimney not keeping your house warm like it should? Is the brick and mortar coming off? Is there a buildup of carbon monoxide or creosote in your chimney? Are you afraid an animal is stuck in the narrow passage?

In all of these cases, you need a professional to look at your chimney. Whatever you do, we suggest you don’t try prying and poking into your chimney yourself—if there’s a loose brick in there, it could fall on your head, and you’ll have only gravity (and yourself) to blame.

Call an expert today. We, at Creative Masonry and Chimney in Connecticut, are happy to oblige!