Your fireplace and chimney can provide you with a lifetime of warmth and enjoyment. There’s nothing like gathering around a roaring fire and soaking in the ambiance among friends and family. However, there is some required maintenance that should be performed regularly to keep your chimney in tip-top shape. While the fireplace and chimney are simple in design and function, failure to perform basic maintenance tasks can have dangerous and destructive consequences. Your chimney can also serve as a source of water infiltration if it’s not properly sealed. A Kennesaw, GA, chimney roof leak can be more than an inconvenience if it results in substantial water damage to your home.
Fortunately, keeping your chimney and fireplace in good working order isn’t difficult, especially if you have a professional chimney sweep on your side. While chimney cleaning is one of the most important ways to keep your chimney safe and operational, there are a few other tasks that are of equal importance to your chimney’s health. Keep reading to learn how you can keep your chimney in tip-top shape.
Seal Outer Brickwork
Your chimney is constantly exposed to the elements. Though most brick chimneys are resilient, over time, the mortar between the bricks can erode, which could allow water to begin to seep in through the chimney. A damp chimney can represent a significant problem. It can cause damage to the flue and result in poor indoor air quality. Fortunately, it’s not hard to waterproof your chimney brickwork. Either hire a chimney professional to perform the task or purchase a brick waterproofing agent and apply it to the outer surface of your brick with a pump sprayer.
Protect Your Flue
The flue is the door at the bottom of your chimney that’s opened to draw smoke and gases from the fire up and out of your home. This metal component can be damaged through oxidation if it’s not protected from dampness, and the presence of debris on the flue can create a fire hazard when the fireplace is being used. Protecting your flue is easy if you install a chimney cap, however. A chimney cap will help to keep rain, twigs, and leaves from dropping into your chimney and causing problems. In fact, you can go a step further by installing chicken wire around the ports on the chimney cap to further deter wildlife from nesting in your chimney and to prevent debris from entering it during storms.
Keep It Clean
A clean chimney is a safe chimney, so it’s important to hire a chimney sweeping professional to clean it periodically. Chimneys accumulate more than just soot when they’re in operation. Unburned resins from firewood can combine with the carbon in soot to form sticky deposits that will adhere to your chimney’s interior walls. Those deposits are highly flammable, and they can result in a chimney fire under the right circumstances. Your chimney sweep will make sure your chimney is safe for use by removing those deposits as well as excess soot. Also, it’s imperative that you remove ashes from the fireplace after each use.
Your chimney is considered part of your roof system, and as such, it must be sealed against the elements at its meeting point with the roof to prevent water infiltration. Your chimney will have metal flashing around its base to help divert water, but it’s important to inspect that flashing for damage routinely. When you find a leaky flashing, it’s a good idea to seal it promptly, or you could be risking water damage. If you want the best protection for your chimney-roof interface, consider installing a cricket. A cricket is a device that diverts water away from your chimney and is especially helpful when you have a roof with a steep pitch.
Aside from having routine chimney inspections in Kennesaw, there are many things you can do to protect the integrity of the chimney and keep it in excellent shape for years to come. To learn more about keeping your chimney in tip-top shape, contact Atlanta Chimney Doctor at (678) 525-7943.