Winters in the Pacific Northwest can be brutal, and this one is sure to take its toll on you and your home — and even your chimney — if you don’t adequately prepare. Here are five reasons to call a chimney sweep before winter hits.

1. Prevent a Fire

Burning wood causes a number of byproducts, including toxic gases, tar fog, water vapors, hydrocarbon, various minerals, and smoke. When properly maintained, your chimney and the chimney flue will funnel these byproducts out of your home and into the air outside. However, when you don’t get your chimney cleaned regularly, these byproducts remain inside your chimney, reacting to the cool air and producing creosote buildup on the flue walls. Creosote is incredibly flammable, meaning that letting it accumulate increases the chances of a fire starting in your home.

To enjoy cozy fires with your family all winter long, get your chimney swept ahead of time.

2. Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

The same creosote that leads to dangerous fires can also cause poor air quality in your home. When creosote buildup blocks smoke from traveling up and out of your chimney, the smoke ends up in your home instead. Animal nests and other debris can also block up your flue, with similar results.

Your home’s air quality can have a big effect on your family’s health — especially during the winter, when people spend more time inside. A professional chimney sweep can clean out creosote buildup, check for blockages in your flue, and even install a chimney cap to keep future blockages from occurring.

3. Avoid Water Damage

It’s not winter in the Pacific Northwest without rain and snow, and that means that your chimney needs to be prepared for water. Old or damaged chimney components — particularly the chimney crown and flashing — could mean serious water damage to your home.

The chimney crown seals the top of your chimney, and its purpose is to keep out water. Over time, chimney crowns deteriorate due to normal wear-and-tear and masonry shrinkage, cracks form, and water penetrates those cracks. Sealing any cracks can prevent structural water damage to the area surrounding your chimney, as well as further damage to the chimney crown.

Flashing is a protective joint that prevents water buildup between the bricks and roof. However, flashing doesn’t last forever, and neither do some of the older sealants used to make it waterproof. Get your flashing repaired to avoid a leaky roof this winter season.

4. Learn Chimney Safety Tips

In addition to making sure your chimney is in good shape for winter, chimney sweeps can provide you with everything you need to know about safely operating your chimney. Learn what kind of wood to burn to avoid poor air quality; how to place your Christmas tree, decorations, and gifts to minimize fire hazards; and what tools and equipment you should have in your home. Knowledge is the best way to keep your family safe and healthy!

5. Save Money

Calling a chimney sweep before winter hits could save you money on damage from potential fires or water leaks, or even on expensive replacements down the road that you’re avoiding by getting repairs now — but that’s not all. Book a Chimcare chimney sweep by October 31st and you will get $50 off your sweep and inspection! That’s more money in your pocket to spend on whatever you want this holiday season.

Ready to book an appointment or learn more? Contact us today!