Closing out your fireplace and chimney for the season

Longer days are upon us, and soon, warmer weather will be, too. That means you soon will be lighting your last fire of the season, if you haven’t already. When you are sure you are done with your fireplace for the season, there are a few steps you will need to take to prep your fireplace and chimney for the off season.

Clean out your firebox

Not only is it unsightly, but ash left in your fireplace actually can do harm! Ash is corrosive and can eat away any components of your firebox, such as the fireplace grate, fireplace doors and even the firebox itself. Clear away any ash with a fireplace broom and shovel. Don’t use a vacuum — that can send ash particles airborne — unless it was intended for fireplace ashes. Cleared away ash can be used to fertilize your garden or yard, or it can be disposed of with your regular garbage.

Consider a chimney sweeping

If you tend to have your chimney swept in the fall, you might not need an additional cleaning in the spring. However, you might want to consider a spring chimney sweeping if you used your fireplace heavily this winter, or if you tend to notice foul smells coming from your chimney during warm summer months.

Turn off the pilot light and close your flue

If you have a set of gas logs or a gas fireplace, you will want to make sure your pilot light is off until you are ready to use your fireplace again. You also will want to make sure that your chimney damper is entirely closed to prevent air exchange through the chimney and to keep out any animal or pests that might find their way into the chimney.

Check your chimney for damage

Winter weather is hard on chimneys, and most chimney damage occurs in the cold, damp winter months. When the weather clears, take a walk around your chimney to look for damage. Look for any cracks, crumbling bricks or mortar, or signs of discoloration. Make sure that your chimney cap remains firmly in place. If you are brave enough to venture on to your roof, or if you can see it from a window, check to make sure the flashing around the base of your chimney is in good repair and firmly in place.

Schedule your chimney services

Spring is the time to schedule any necessary chimney services! If you notice signs of masonry damage that need to be addressed, if you need a new chimney cap, if your chimney crown or flashing is in need of repair, or if you would like to have a preventative maintenance, such as waterproofing performed, spring and summer are the time to do it! If you don’t have any chimney maintenance needs for the summer, schedule your fall chimney sweeping and inspection today, so you won’t forget about it when the time comes! Whether it’s chimney repair, maintenance or a regular cleaning, call Your Chimney Sweep to schedule an appointment today.