With the winter season beginning soon, preparations on how to keep your house warm should now be underway. On top of your agenda should be your chimney.
Just like most homeowners, you are most likely going to rely on your fireplace or stove to keep your abode warm during the cold months. But before you light the first match, you need to ascertain that your chimney is winter-ready.
First, you want your chimney to be in excellent condition. It should be able to effectively perform its primary function – expel smoke out of your house. Problems with your chimney can make your fireplace or stove unusable. You definitely do not want this to happen in the dead of winter.
In addition, ensuring that your chimney is problem-free is tantamount to keeping you and your loved ones safe. Poor chimney maintenance cause thousands of residential fires yearly in Ireland. Aside from fires, they are also responsible for several accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
Simply put, you cannot take your chimney for granted if you want to stay warm and safe all winter long. So, how do you make your chimney ready for winter?
Inspect the Chimney and Adjacent Structures
Check if the exterior of your chimney has any visible damage. Be on the lookout for cracks on the crown or cap, loose bricks or bricks in the fireplace and white stains on the masonry, to name a few.
Unfortunately, your inspection is limited to the outside of the chimney. Unless you have the needed equipment, you won’t be able to see its interior and parts like the liner.
Apart from the chimney exterior, inspect adjacent structures or areas like the roof and the walls. Find out if there is a moisture problem which may be indicated by a peeling paint or the presence watermarks.
Admittedly, a chimney inspection is not an easy task. Spotting potential problems requires know-how. It also demands state-of-the-art technology, especially in assessing the condition of the chimney’s interior. These are some of the reasons why you’d still need to ask a professional chimney services provider to help you.
Schedule a CCTV Survey
Regardless of the result of your inspection, you still need to call a chimney specialist. As mentioned earlier, checking the interior isn’t possible without the right tools like a CCTV camera.
Keep in mind:
Just because there are no exterior damages, it does not mean that your chimney is in tip-top condition. Often, issues that pose the most danger are those found inside.
Nowadays, inspections are done using a CCTV camera. This tool allows the service provider to get a clear view of the chimney’s interiors, thereby, making it easier to identify problems. Furthermore, a CCTV survey makes it possible to accomplish this task quickly.
Here’s a tip:
Before the survey starts, inform the chimney specialists about the result of your inspection. Tell him your observations, i.e. pieces of bricks on the fireplace, weird odour, cracks on the masonry, etc.
Arrange Chimney Repairs & Cleaning
Any problem discovered during the survey should be addressed immediately. Delaying the repair can exacerbate the issue. Moreover, using structurally defective chimney increases the risk of carbon monoxide exposure and house fire.
Aside from repairing damages, you should also schedule professional chimney cleaning. Just like inspections, this task needs to be regularly done as well.
Burning wood produces by-products like creosote and soot which can stick to the chimney’s interiors. Repeated chimney use results in the build-up of these by-products.
Cleaning the interiors is necessary to get rid of these deposits as they can cause serious problems. Creosote build-up, for one, can compromise the integrity of the liner and the masonry. Worse, it can start a fire!
Similar to inspections, chimney cleaning should be done at least once a year. The common practice is to schedule these tasks (inspection and cleaning) in autumn. Most homeowners include them in their to-do list in preparation for winter.
A word of caution:
The schedule of professional chimney services providers fills up quickly during this season. Hence, if you intend to have the inspection and cleaning in autumn, it is best to schedule it during the early weeks of the season.
Schedule chimney inspection and cleaning before winter begins! Access Chimneys is Dublin’s trusted CCTV survey and chimney repairs services provider. Call us today at +353 872805825!
Image by horjaraul from Pixabay
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