Winterize Your NJ Home: Chimneys

So you want to protect your new home this winter by buying a New Jersey homeowners insurance policy. Great start! But your home has a chimney, and your not exactly sure how to winterize it. I mean it was easy protecting your investment with your new policy, but how do you protect it from harsh weather conditions. Easy! You will need to have it inspected swept and cleaned.

Now Ideally, spring is
the time to think about your chimney, but if you have waited too long you want it done before the snow comes! A common myth is that a chimney needs to be swept
every year, but a chimney should at least be
inspected before use each year. You don’t know what has gotten stuck in those things through-out the year.

When your ready for your chimney to get inspected ask for a Level 1 inspection, in
which the professional examines the readily accessible portions of the
chimney. Most certified chimney sweeps usually tend to include a Level 1
service with a sweep.

If you have a Woodstove, they are a bit different -They should be swept more than once a year.
A general rule of thumb is that a cleaning should be performed for
every ¼ inch of creosote which is very acidic, and it can cause mortar and the metal damper to

You might also want to buy a protective cap for your
chimney, with a screen, it keeps out foreign objects (birds, tennis
balls) as well as rain that can mix with the ash and eat away at the
fireplace’s walls. Buy based on durability,
not appearance.

As one final reminder try to keep out cold air,
fireplace owners should keep their chimney’s damper closed when the
fireplace isn’t in use. And for the same reason, woodstove owners should
have glass doors on their stoves, and keep them closed when the stove
isn’t in use. There, now you are winterized!

-Robert Catalano