Although it may seem early to start thinking about chimney maintenance, fall will be here shortly, and your chimney will soon be frequently used. Before lighting a fire, it is important to ensure your chimney functions properly. After being unused for several months, your chimney could have built up water damage, accumulate animals or debris, and exhibit cracks. It is common for your chimney to experience damage overtime, however, the damage can have dangerous effects if it is left untreated.

Watson Brothers Chimney and Vent can inspect and clean out your chimney regularly so you have nothing to worry about when starting a fire. Routinely cleaning your chimney will create a safer and more enjoyable environment in your home. By following these steps we have provided, your chimney will work properly for the entire fall and winter season.


While it is necessary to have a professional chimney inspection, there are steps you can complete on your own before it gets professionally cleaned. Ashes and soot can pile up in the fireplace and cause the fireplace to smell bad especially in the summer. The ashes contain acid that can degrade your fireplace over time which is why it is important to routinely clean your hearth. Sweeping out the ashes will help a fire burn better and allow your fireplace to last longer. You want to make sure that you are not sweeping out all of the ashes from the hearth. Try to leave at least an inch of soot to improve your fire.


Chimney dampers regulate the airflow of the chimney when a fire is burning, and it prevents air from entering when the chimney is not in use. Checking the damper is important before lighting a fire because debris can build-up and cause hazardous conditions.

The best way to protect your chimney is by installing a chimney cap. A chimney can fully function without a chimney cap, but it works more efficiently with this particular part. The purpose of a chimney cap is to keep harmful gases from escaping the smoke chamber, preventing nearby flammable materials from catching on fire. It also prevents water, debris, or animals from causing damage to your chimney. The chimney cap needs to be inspected once a year to ensure that debris and soot will not build up. Inspections are vital for chimney caps because damage to this part can result in expensive repairs for your chimney.

If you keep up with chimney maintenance, you should be able to identify small problems that can be easily fixed by a professional chimney sweep. Spotting issues early will reduce the damage caused to your chimney and will ultimately save you money in the long run.

Hire a professional cleaner

After you check your chimney, it is time to hire a professional chimney sweeper. No matter what type chimney you have or how long it has been around, each requires regular cleaning so that the chimney works to the best of its ability. A wood-burning fireplace should be cleaned once a year. It is recommended that a gas-burning fireplace be cleaned once every two years. Having your chimney swept before the winter time can reduce the chance of a fire and save energy in your home.

In addition to chimney cleaning, a professional chimney sweep can also properly inspect your chimney. According to the National Fire Protection Association recommends having your chimney inspected at least once a year. A chimney can easily crack or become damaged while it is not in use. This is why it is important to have your chimney professionally inspected. A chimney inspection can also determine that your chimney cap is working well and ensure no animals have entered the chimney.

Tips to improve a fire

Buying better wood will enhance the life of your fireplace and the quality of the fire. Thicker wood, such as oak and maple, is preferred over cheaper or thinner wood. Denser wood produces a hotter fire that lasts longer, and it can even improve your home’s air quality. It is also a good idea to store the wood outside of your home to keep pests away.

How we can help

At Watson Brothers Chimney and Vent, we offer premiere chimney and vent services. We are dedicated to keeping your fireplace and vents working efficiently through routine inspections, cleanings, and repairs to help keep your chimney and loved ones safe. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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