Sixty percent all homes in the U.S. have at least one fireplace, which means there are a lot of chimneys that need to be maintained and repaired at one time or another. If you have a Washington DC home that has a chimney, it’s safe to assume you want to reduce the need for repairs as much as possible, especially during the cooler months when you’re more likely to be using your fireplace. Fortunately, there are some things you can to reduce your need for costly or unexpected chimney repairs.
Get Your Chimney Inspected Annually
Chimneys have it rough from both sides. On the inside, the flue is regularly exposed to high temperatures and creosote deposits. Oh the outside, mortar and masonry can be worn away from exposure to wind, rain, and snow. If you schedule annual inspections in the spring, summer, or early fall, you’ll be less likely to experience problems when your fireplace is being used most.
Have Your Chimney Professionally Cleaned
Chimneys should be professionally cleaned when there’s about an eighth of an inch of creosote built up, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends annual cleanings by chimney professionals to minimize fire risks and maintain optimal functioning. Regular cleanings can also help prevent odor problems that sometimes develop in the hotter months when your fireplace isn’t being used.
Invest in a Chimney Cap
It only stands to reason that chimney repairs are more likely to involve a lot of work if there is accumulated debris and internal damage from rain, snow, sleet, and other stuff that tends to get inside. The solution is to have a chimney cap installed. If you have one with mesh, you’ll also be keeping animals out. If you already have a chimney cap, make sure it’s regularly checked as well so it can replaced or repaired if it’s damaged. Another chimney investment worth considering is to have it waterproofed to create an added layer of protection.
The type of chimney repair Washington DC chimney professionals provide is less likely to be a strain on your budget when attention is needed if you are proactive with maintaining your chimney. It can be just as helpful to clean your fireplace periodically, even in the months when it’s not being used. Lastly, if you have a steep-sloping roof, having a cricket (an added roofline ridge) installed can divert water away from your chimney.