- Look for open gaps between the house and chimney, cracks in mortar or stucco, and minor settlement.
- Seal gaps with an appropriate caulk and repaint to match as required. Consult with a mason to repoint or repair mortar and stucco.
- Never burn pressure-treated wood, Christmas trees, plastic, or flammable liquids in the fireplace.
- Keep flue closed when not in use to reduce cooling and heating losses.
- Clean chimney flue once a year by removing ashes as necessary and storing in a metal container to prevent fires.
With the return of cold weather, before building the first fire, follow these three steps.
- Check to see if any of the “fire clay” (mortar) has fallen out and replace if necessary.
- Ensure damper works properly and closes tightly.
- Check the flue with a flashlight for soot build-up.
For heavy soot deposits, call a professional chimney cleaner.