Winter is now in full swing. While this winter feels more like early fall, you may still want to put the chimney to good use simply for the sake of having a cozy living space. Be careful, though; before lighting a match in the firebox, be sure to winterize the chimney first. Not doing so is dangerous and can result in a chimney fire.
Why Winterize Your Chimney?
Many people have heard of winterizing their pipes, swimming pool, or home as a whole, but never of winterizing the chimney. So what’s the purpose? To prepare the chimney for the winter basically just means to give it a good chimney cleaning from a professional.
Clear Your Chimney of Creosote & Soot
Your chimney liner is likely filled with creosote and soot from the last time you used the fireplace. Creosote is an oil-like residue that accumulates from the solidification of distilled smoke. Soot is the remnants of partially burnt material that collects on the flue pipes and chimney cap.
The Risk of Chimney Fires
Creosote is highly flammable under high temperatures. Starting a fire creates just enough heat for the creosote to ignite. A chimney fire can easily spread to the attic and outside the flue cap. If the roof is full of dry leaves and pine needles, that will allow the fire to spread even further.
Winterizing your chimney is not something to overlook. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, there were over $93 million in structural damage associated with a fireplace mishap in 2012. Don’t let your home become a statistic.
Get Your Chimney Cleaned Between Uses
Let Powers Chimney and Masonry inspect your chimney for a thorough sweep before you use it. You never know how much creosote and soot has been built up even if it’s been months since you last used your fireplace. Winterizing your chimney ensures the entire unit is safe for lighting a fire.
Serving the communities of Arlington, Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville and all South Snohomish & North King County
Edited by Justin Vorhees