By the time spring arrives, you have likely used the fireplace daily or weekly for 15 to 20 weeks. When spring arrives, many homeowners begin to use the fireplace less, and then stop using it altogether. This gradual decline in use often leads homeowners to neglect end-of-season maintenance to prepare the system for the off-season. This is a serious problem because winter weather can leave the chimney system and fire appliance with winter damage that must be addressed.
Unlike regular wear-and-tear, winter damage can affect large portions of the masonry, resulting in hazards, of fire and of structural problems. When water is allowed into the masonry it can lead to all kinds of water-related damages. but when allowed into the masonry in winter, it’s worse. The freezing temperatures cause the water to freeze and expand, breaking apart masonry–a process that repeats throughout winter.
Other Common Chimney Problems
It’s our goal at Black Moose Chimney and Stove to provide maintenance and services that keep your chimney system safe during winter, and properly protected during the off-season. At the end of burn season, you can expect a variety of damages if you don’t routinely have your chimney system professionally serviced.
Surprisingly, many chimney fires go unnoticed during winter. The first is usually a fast burning fire which quickly runs out of oxygen and goes out on its own. It goes unnoticed, but it causes damage to the liner and the masonry. The next time a fire occurs, the liner will already be damaged, letting the fire leave the flue and affect the rest of the house. Have your chimney inspected this spring so that a professional can determine if the flue has had a fire this season. Damage can be repaired and your chimney restored to full safety for next season.
Anything that can get onto the roof can get to the cap, and even into the flue if the cap is damaged or missing. During winter your cap can become clogged with debris and even animals. During your spring chimney inspection, your chimney professional will check your cap. Repairing damaged caps will keep water out during “April Showers” this spring.
The largest part of your entire chimney system is hidden, so it often goes unnoticed. During burn season, your fire pushed smoke, gas, heat, and particles up to the chimney flue on a regular basis. These particles (soot and creosote) coat the flue interior and even coat the flue opening connecting your fire appliance or fireplace with your chimney. If your flue becomes plugged, your fire will not vent properly and will become a safety hazard for your family. If your fireplace or stove produces is smoky, you may have a plugged flue. Call a professional to have it assessed and cleaned.
With steady use all season long, your gas, wood, or pellet stoves may need some attention this spring. Pellet stoves may have a damaged burner. Gas stoves may have clogged connections, and wood stoves need services annually to prevent creosote buildup. Make sure that doors, hinges, connections, and vents are cleaned and maintained properly annually. Damaged parts and appliances are easier and cheaper to repair than damage from a devastating house fire.
Don’t leave your chimney system up to chance. Leave all your chimney services, repairs, and maintenance to the professionals! Schedule your spring inspection today.
Call Black Moose Chimney and Stove at 603-525-7905 or schedule online.