How To Increase the Lifespan of Your Chimney
Maybe you just purchased a Victorian house that is a fixer-upper, and the chimney has been standing for well over a hundred years; maybe you had a home custom-built with a large fireplace and chimney; perhaps your chimney falls somewhere in between. At any rate, you will want to know how to increase the lifespan of your chimney so you can safely enjoy your fireplace for years to come. Here are some tips to improve the longevity of your chimney.
Chimneys should be cleaned at least annually, and more often if you use your fireplace frequently. Creosote, a highly flammable byproduct of wood burning, can accumulate on the inner walls of your chimney and pose a fire risk. An annual sweep can prevent this buildup and help your chimney last longer.
Install a Chimney Cap
A chimney cap is the best way to prevent rain, snow, animals, and debris from entering your chimney. Water can damage the interior of your chimney by eroding the mortar joints and causing the bricks to crack or flake, known as spalling. Installing a chimney cap can help protect your chimney from moisture damage.
Waterproof Your Chimney
Applying a waterproofing agent to the exterior of your chimney is an excellent way to prevent water damage. Waterproofing can be vital if you live in a wet climate or your chimney is frequently exposed to rain.
In addition to annual cleaning, your chimney should be inspected by a professional regularly. They can check for signs of damage or wear that may not be visible to the untrained eye. Inspections allow chimney sweeps to address minor problems before they become major ones.
Use the Right Wood
Burning the correct type of wood can help increase your chimney’s lifespan. Hardwoods like oak, maple, and birch burn hotter and produce less creosote than softwoods. The wood should also be well-seasoned (dry) to reduce creosote buildup.
Install a Chimney Liner
If your chimney doesn’t already have a liner, installing one is in your home’s best interest. A chimney liner protects your home from fire escaping and deadly gases. A chimney liner also protects the inside of your chimney from the corrosive byproducts of combustion. It can also improve your chimney’s draft, making your fireplace more efficient.
Don’t Put Off Repairs
If you notice any signs of damage to your chimney, such as missing or spalling bricks, cracks in the chimney crown, or deteriorating mortar, address these issues as soon as possible. Delaying repairs can lead to more severe damage and potentially expensive repairs.
Avoid Chemical Chimney Cleaners
Some products claim to clean your chimney when you burn them, but they can cause more harm than good. They may not fully remove the creosote and can cause permanent damage to your chimney liner.
Proper Ash Disposal
It’s quite simple; after using your fireplace, allow the ashes to cool fully before disposing of them. Hot ashes can ignite a fire in your chimney or home.
Twin City Can Extend the Life of Your Fireplace
If you are interested in extending the lifespan of your chimney, call us in Edina at (952-941-2685) or Woodbury (651-204-0112) or fill out our simple contact form. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will gladly discuss extending the life of your chimney. Don’t wait until your chimney starts to break down; reach out today.