There is nothing quite like the first cold snap to send us all unpacking our winter clothes and grabbing the blankets out of the attic. Preparing yourself mentally is the first step, taking the proper precautions to prepare your fireplace for the upcoming season is another. Getting it ready now will save you the hassle and pain of dealing with it when there are several feet of snow outside!

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The first step is the biggest:

Getting your fireplace professionally inspected and swept by our CSIA-certified sweeps will not only make sure that your fireplace is in the best shape possible to combat the degrading snow and water, as well as the smoke buildup that comes with use. The buildup, called creosote, is highly flammable, and could result in a chimney fire if you’re not careful. We not only clean the creosote off the inside of your chimney, we check for any loose or missing mortar so that your chimney is in tip-top shape before it takes on the winter.

Spic and span:

We want to inspect and sweep your chimney fireplace annually, but it is imperative that you do your part in keeping your fireplace clean as well. Disposing of the majority of ash and burnt timber in a wood-burning firebox will not only look more aesthetically pleasing and leave you more space for logs, but the chances of a flying ember catching your carpet on fire becomes a lot more slim. Just gently shovel the cooled ash into a bucket and dispose of it in the trash.

Putting a damper on it:

Your damper controls airflow in and out of your chimney. Check your damper for ease of use, making sure it opens and closes with no struggle. If the damper doesn’t close properly, there will be a cold draft that comes into the room when the fireplace isn’t in use. If the damper is hard to open, proper ventilation could keep carbon monoxide from exiting out the chimney, instead filling your room with the deadly chemical.

Fires of all kinds:

Weather you have a wood-burning fireplace or a gas stove, it is important to have enough fuel to keep you and your family warm for at least three days. Keep it in an easily accessible in case of a power outage. Also, make sure you have a supply of firefighting materials such as a fire extinguisher, a bucket of water, or baking soda readily available in case a fire gets out of hand or some buildup catches fire. Again, it’s always better to be over prepared.

Knowing that your fireplace and chimney are taken care of will give you peace of mind while the wind whistles through the trees outside. It’s not too late to schedule your annual inspection and sweeping. Call Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep today!