Take Care of Chimney Maintenance Now!


With some unpredictable weather left, it’s time to think about the health of your chimney system. A lot can happen to a chimney over the winter, from creosote buildup to cracks expanding in masonry work. While you can expect creosote buildup from regular use, it is a fire hazard. A CSIA-Certified chimney sweep should remove it and inspect the chimney annually. Water intrusion starts to become a problem during in the spring, when newly exposed cracks from freezing and thawing appear. Our CSIA-Certified technicians know the ins and outs of maintaining fireplace and chimney systems in Colorado. This article covers a few chimney maintenance basics

Why should I have my chimney swept & inspected?

Creosote is a flammable by-product of wood combustion that builds up in the chimney. This black, tar-like substance is the most common cause of chimney fires and must be removed from the chimney every year after the regular burning season to ensure continued safe operations. Taking care of creosote buildup as the weather begins to warm in the spring is a great way to make sure it’s done ahead of the autumn busy season, when chimney sweeps experience a rush of business that pushes availability out by a few weeks.

What level of chimney inspection do I need?

A chimney sweeping and inspection on an annual basis keeps your fireplace system running efficiently.
A chimney sweeping and inspection on an annual basis keeps your fireplace system running efficiently.

During your annual service, our CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweeps inspect the chimney and fireplace to ensure that everything is in safe, working order. We offer three levels of chimney inspection:

  • Level 1: During a Level 1 Chimney Inspection, our technicians will inspect all the readily accessible portions of the chimney system from the fireplace to the flue. We will look for signs of damage, danger, and health hazards.
  • Level 2: During a Level 2 inspection, we perform a video scan of the flue and inspect areas not included in Level 1 such as attics and crawlspaces. We perform this inspection when you are selling a property or when there are changes to your system such as a new liner or appliance.
  • Level 3: During a Level 3 inspection, we go more in-depth, this level involves removing all materials around the chimney system such as doors, drywall and more. We suggest you have this inspection performed after a chimney fire or other problem with your fireplace or chimney.

During your annual service, we perform a Level I inspection. If you have any reason to suspect a safety issue with your system or are about to sell your property, consider a Level 2 or Level 3 inspection for your chimney system.

Why is my chimney leaking?

If your chimney is leaking, now is the time for you to take care of it.
If your chimney is leaking, now is the time for you to take care of it.

As the snow melts, leaks in your chimney may become apparent. Water expands by a factor of between 9% and 10% when freezing. This may not seem like much; however, freezing expansion can exert tremendous force on materials containing or trapping water. In fact, one experiment measured this force at nearly 28,000 psi (≈193,000 kPa). This is a common cause of erosion in the natural world and has more than enough power to expand or create cracks in masonry.

During the freeze-thaw cycle, this physical mechanism can result in new or exacerbated leaks in your chimney system. If you notice water intrusion coming from your chimney, you should address it as soon as possible. Water damage only gets worse and the sooner it’s resolved the less expensive the repairs. Our technicians are skilled in masonry repair and can make sure your chimney system is watertight and protected from the elements.

Get in touch to schedule your chimney sweeping & inspection!

If you need your regular chimney sweeping and inspection, your chimney is leaking, or you are experiencing some other problem with your fireplace or chimney, we can help. We have over 20 years of experience servicing, repairing, and installing fireplaces, stoves, inserts, and chimneys in Colorado. Our technicians are certified by the CSIA or the NFI and can diagnose and repair gas, wood, or pellet appliances. To schedule your appointment contact us, by phone at (303) 679-1601, email at Office@MtnHP.com, or through our contact page.

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Originally published on MtnHP.com, our fireplace retail outlet.