avoid cold air coming through your fireplace

Common Winter Chimney Problems

Harsh New England winters are known to take a toll on chimneys. As you gear up for the rain, snow, and below freezing temperatures that the winter months will bring, take some time to learn about common winter chimney problems. From cold air coming in through your fireplace to animal intruders, there are a host of issues that you should be prepared for, should they occur.

Boston’s Best Chimney is a full service chimney company serving Boston and the Greater Boston area. With over thirty years of experience, our team of knowledgeable service technicians are committed to keeping your chimney safe and properly functioning. If you are looking to have your chimney inspected or serviced, click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch with us.

We will now explain some common winter chimney problems to help you to recognize if your chimney has these issues now or in the future.

chimney damper

Cold Air Coming Through a Fireplace

This is a common complaint that we hear during the winter. Cold air entering a fireplace can drive up your energy bills and make your home drafty. Moreover, cold air entering your home through the fireplace defeats the purpose of having a fireplace. This issue is often related to the chimney’s damper not working properly. The damper is designed to close tightly and prevent air from entering from above. If a chimney has not been recently cleaned, creosote build up can keep it from closing all of the way. Dampers can also be prevented from closing if they have become warped or rusty over time. Check out our blog post on causes of losing heat from your fireplace to learn more about this issue.

Smoke Transfer

Do you see or smell smoke in other parts of your home when you’re having a fire? This might be caused by openings or gaps within the flue.  Gaps in or in between the tiles allow smoke to seep out of the flue instead of up and out into the atmosphere.  Not only is this a nuisance, but it is also dangerous because sparks can also transfer and ignite nearby combustibles.  An often overlooked indicator of gaps present is poor draft. It is difficult to establish an updraft when there is outside air entering the flue.  Think of it like a straw with a hole in it – it’s tough!

Water Damage and Leaks

The freeze-thaw cycle can cause problems for your chimney system. Your chimney’s bricks and mortar have pores that absorb precipitation throughout the year. This can become an issue in the winter, when snow and rain are absorbed by the pores and then cause the pores to expand within the bricks and mortar when the temperature is cold enough for the water to freeze. The continual expansion of these pores over time can cause structural damage to your chimney.  Luckily, chimney leaks often don’t occur during the winter months but usually pick right back up again when the weather warms.  If you suspect that your chimney has structural damage or if you have noticed leaks inside of your home near your fireplace, click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch withavoid cold air coming through your fireplace us. Calling now can get you in queue with an early Spring repair as soon as the weather allows.

Animal Intruders

Though animals can enter your home at any point throughout the year, many animals seek warmth and a place to sleep during the long winter months. At Boston’s Best Chimney, we recommend installing a chimney cap on your chimney to help keep critters out. If you see signs of nesting in your chimney from your home’s exterior or if you hear noises and/or scratching from inside of your home, contact us and we can come to assess the situation.

Get Prepared for this Winter

At Boston’s Best Chimney, we are here to serve our customers in the Boston and Greater Boston area by taking care of all of your chimney needs. If you suspect that your chimney has an issue this winter, click here or call (781) 893-6611 to contact us. It is important to address chimney problems as soon as they are detected, so do not hesitate to get in touch. We wish you a safe and cozy winter!

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