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Chimney Inspections: It’s Never Too Late

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Now that winter has officially arrived, many people are firing up their chimneys on a more regular basis. Many homeowners find that using their fireplace is a great replacement to relying solely on a central heating system. Although chimneys can help save a few dollars, they can present certain dangerous that, if not addressed, can have terrible outcomes. Both CSIA and the National Fire Protection Association recommend yearly chimney inspections to help prevent these hazards. Winter may be here, but it’s never too late to get your chimney inspected.

How Winter Weather Can Damage Your Chimney

Chimney Inspections It's Never Too Late - Carbondale CO - Bulldog ChimneyWinter weather puts a great deal of strain on your chimney system. Because brick and mortar is made of porous materials, rain, sleet, snow, and freezing temperatures will cause more damage faster than spring or summer conditions. The precipitation will seep into the brick and the freezing temperatures will cause ice crystals to form. As the water expands, it will cause cracks and gaps to form. After the water melts, the whole process starts over with the next snowfall, but this time the cracks and gaps are larger and more water enters the space and causes the cracks to expand even further. Additionally, because of the snow or other precipitation, you may not be able to spot these structural issues until next spring. This puts your home at a greater risk for a house fire. To prevent this, it is wise to have your chimney inspected during the winter months.

Winter Chimney Inspections vs. Spring

Some professionals believe it is best to have your annual chimney inspection performed during the spring months. This is for several reasons. For one, many homeowners don’t think to have their chimneys inspected during this time, so there isn’t as long of a waiting list. Also, many repairs are best made in the spring. This is because many masonry repairs need a certain amount of days above freezing for the materials to cure. Some may argue that it’s best to have your chimney inspected during the spring because you won’t be using your chimney until that next winter; therefore, it is in the exact same condition as when you had it cleaned. However, there is something to be said for getting your inspection done in the winter months. Just because your chimney was cleaned 6 months ago and you haven’t used it, doesn’t mean that it is totally safe to use. Animals or debris could have made their way into the chimney through a damaged chimney cap. Without a winter inspection, you may not know that something is creating a blockage in your chimney flue, which can cause creosote to build up quicker. Also, as mentioned above, if any structural damage occurs during the winter, you may not know about it until Spring. In both situations, you may continue to use your chimney believing that it is safe, when in reality it isn’t.

Although there are many opinions about what time of the year you should have your chimney cleaned and inspected, the most important thing to remember is that it is never too late to have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a CSIA Certified professional. If you have not had your chimney inspected this year or think your chimney may have suffered some structural damage due to the weather, give us a call today to setup an appointment.