Making Your Chimney Santa-Ready

Is your chimney prepared for his Christmas Eve entrance

So, Christmas is around the corner – how ready are you? Cards written, presents wrapped, party gear planned – but what about your chimney?

Is it Santa-ready?

All those mince pies don’t help with his waist-line, so you need to make sure your chimney is well-prepared for his Christmas Eve entrance…

What are the risks?

If you don’t look after your chimney, the risks are multiple, including blockages, smoke leaks, inadequate ventilation, insufficient draw, tar build up, and a collapsing stack. Apart from Santa’s entrance, you also need to make sure that you can essentially funnel off all the by-products of your fire through your chimney safely – this includes soot, hot ash, sparks, smoke and gases.

A clean sweep

To maintain your flue, and keep your chimney hazard free, it should be swept once or twice a year, depending on the level of use. In reality, most people only call the sweep in when they suspect a problem – not as part of their regular maintenance. The result – over 20% of chimneys looked at have a significant problem.  

This may be in the form of a build-up of soot or tar, which are not only flammable but can lead to rotting inside your chimney. Blockages are also common in chimneys not maintained regularly. Birds’ nests or other flammable objects obviously carry a risk of a chimney fire, whereas fallen bricks can cause blow back of smoke, leading to potentially harmful CO fumes in your home.

Point it

Mortar between bricks starting to break down is a common problem seen on chimney stacks, due to their exposure. This gives rise to gaps, which then allows moisture to creep through, causing damage to the inside of the chimney. Signs inside include damp patches and sooty soiling on the walls and ceiling near the chimney breast.

To prevent issues, your stack regularly on all sides, paying attention to the sides more at risk from the elements. If you suspect a problem, call in a chimney repair expert to sort it out quickly.

Strong on the outside

Your chimney stack is unprotected on the top of your roof, leaving it at risk from the weather and the environment. Keep it strong on the outside by regular maintenance, such as ensuring plants are not taking hold between the mortar. Not only does this look unsightly and uncared for, but it will weaken your stack considerably.

The Leaning Tower of Pizza

General deterioration coupled with bad weather can take its toll on your stack, making it lean to one side. If your stack suddenly resembles the Leaning tower of Pizza you need to take drastic action to prevent it toppling off, and causing untold damage below. One strong wind could be all it takes bring down your tower. Get it fixed as soon as possible to prevent a disaster.

Not just for Santa

Keeping your chimney – inside and out – in good order is essential not just for Santa, but for you and your home constantly. Making sure you maintain it regularly once or twice a year, while keeping an eye on it during bad weather, can be it all it takes to keep it Santa-ready all year round.

Posted on 23 November 2016 in Roofing, News, Weather, Roof Cleaning, Roof Maintenance and tagged roofers, london roofing, safety, winter.
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