Weekend Warrior: Get the Fireplace Ready for Cooler Temperatures

As the summer winds down and cooler temperatures take over, individuals with a fireplace may want to take advantage of the feature in the coming cooler months. Mark your calendars for the start of fall, which is a great time to check that the fireplace is working properly for the cold months ahead. When taking an initial look at the fireplace, call a chimney professional should you encounter any issues that seem out of the norm. Below are features to examine when getting the fireplace ready for cooler temperatures, which any weekend warrior can handle two days:

Family celebration outside in the backyard. Barbecue party. A woman holding a small girl and an unrecognizable man cooking.

Visually assess the exterior – Inspect the chimney from outside and observe if it is leaning, whether any bricks or joints are chipped, and if there are holes or cracks. If the chimney is factory-built metal, look out for stains, corrosion, or loose sections. If the chimney is exposed to the attic, check there as well for any signs that repairs may be needed.

Quality of the chimney cap – A high-quality chimney cap can reduce the damage caused by animals and water. It is not uncommon for rain and snow to enter and uncapped chimney, freeze, then thaw, and ultimately cause expansion damage. Small animals can nest in chimneys, creating blockage and potentially allowing fleas, ticks, and other disease-causing pests into the house. A good cap will keep animals at bay while shielding your roof from embers and sparks.

Flue – The clean-out door from the base of the flue is usually located in the basement or outside the house. Use a small mirror and flashlight and look for soot buildup, cracks, holes, or separations.

Leaks & stains – Examine the area around the chimney for stains or dampness to the flooring or carpet. Call a professional if there are indications of water around the chimney.

Interior – Check the brickwork for signs of wear and tear. The damper should open and close easily. Finally, look into the smoke chamber above the damper for the buildup of soot.

Maintaining the fireplace and taking care of problems will ensure you enjoy a warm and cozy atmosphere when temperatures drop.