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Fireplaces and Winter

Fireplaces and Winter

Most people would agree these two things, fireplaces and winter, go together very well. There’s hardly anything more comforting in cold weather than a roaring fire to sit in front of to get warm. In addition to the warmth, the crackling fire and flickering flames are enticing.

But there are some potential dangers of using your fireplace when winter winds howl. And these dangers can lead to loss of your home and more.

Just about everyone knows you need to have your chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep every year. Cleaning out the creosote and other buildups can prevent devastating chimney fires. A chimney fire can destroy your home. The cleaning logs advertised as a substitute for chimney sweeps don’t work as well as the professional.

The materials used to build your chimney are strong, but not so strong as to never need care in the winter. Bricks, mortar, concrete, and flue tile are porous and thus likely to be damaged by water. One of the major tasks you face with regard to fireplaces and winter is protecting your chimney inside and out from too much water.

In many places, there are freeze and thaw cycles during winter weather. Any water that penetrates your chimney will freeze and thaw as well, causing significant damage to your chimney.

If your chimney has constant contact with water, all of your fireplace may suffer. Also, bad odor from the combination of water and creosote in your chimney is another problem fireplaces and winter.

Some other problems that come from water penetrating your chimney include:

Firebox assemblies deteriorating

Clogged clean-out area

Damper assemblies rusting

Chimney collapsing

What can you do to protect your home from problems with fireplaces and winter are fairly commonsense. One is to have what is called a cricket built around your chimney on the roof. This is a diversion device to channel runoff water away from your chimney. There also are waterproofing materials you can buy and use on your chimney. But probably the easiest and least expensive thing is to install a chimney cap. This will keep water out of your chimney and keep birds and other animals from building nests in the chimney.

Periodically throughout the winter, you should have your home professionally cleaned. While this would not include cleaning your chimney, it could include cleaning up after smoke from a clogged chimney if you don’t get it cleaned professionally. Contact Joyce Janitorial in Laconia, NH, today. Call 603-524-8533 today.