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Prepare Your Chimney for Winter Before the Fall Rush

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Summer is almost over, and cooler temperatures are beginning to arrive, which means it is just about time to begin using your fireplace again. Many chimney and fire safety organizations including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend you schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection before you light your first flame in your fireplace in the fall. Professional, Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweep companies like Magic Sweep see their busiest time of year during the fall season, so it is important to beat this rush and go ahead and schedule your annual professional chimney cleaning and inspecting now to prevent waiting for weeks for an available appointment. We at Magic Sweep would like to share what we do to get your chimney prepared for winter.

Chimney Sweeping - Chesapeake VA - Magic Sweep

Chimney Sweeping

According to the NFPA, the cause of 28% of all home heating fires was neglecting to clean the chimney before the heating season. Our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps know exactly what to look for when we are cleaning your chimney to prepare it for winter: large deposits of creosote buildup. Creosote, a compound that results naturally when burning wood, is highly flammable and is responsible for the majority of chimney fires in the United States. The chimney sweeps at Magic Sweep are experienced at removing all creosote deposits from the walls of your chimney and making it safe to use all winter without the possibility of a creosote-caused chimney fire.

Chimney Inspecting

Our main objective when Magic Sweep inspects your chimney is to be sure there is no damage that could cause using your fireplace to be unsafe. When we perform a pre-winter chimney inspection, we are looking for any essential repairs that should be done before you begin to regularly use your chimney. If there are loose bricks and chipped mortar on the exterior of your chimney, that is a sign of water penetration damage. If water has gone into the interior of your chimney, there can be damage done to the flue liner, which can be dangerous as cracks and holes in your liner allow toxic gases like carbon monoxide to easily enter your home. A pre-winter chimney inspection from Magic Sweep includes the following tasks:

  • examining your chimney cap and flashing to ensure they are properly fitted to prevent water leaks
  • checking the damper of your chimney to be sure it both opens and closes properly
  • ensuring you have at least an 18-inch clearance between your fireplace and anything combustible such as furniture or curtains
  • inspecting your chimney flue liner for cracks or other signs of deterioration
  • protecting your family’s safety by making sure you have some sort of screen installed in front of your fireplace
  • advising you on proper ash removal procedures.

If we discover any essential repairs, we will arrange a time as soon as possible to take care of these problems before the heating season begins. Need to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection before winter arrives? Contact us today to arrange an appointment to get your chimney prepared for winter.