Ultimate Guide to Maintaining Your Chimney in Denver’s Unique Climate

Table of Contents

Does anything compare to curling up with a good book or someone you love in front of a roaring fireplace? Living in Denver, where the temperatures regularly drop below freezing in winter, you know the answer to that question is a resounding “No!”

Enjoying your wood-burning fireplace requires proper maintenance, particularly in winter, when the fireplace and chimney can take a beating.

With several years of experience serving the fantastic residents of Denver, we offer comprehensive chimney services, including ensuring your chimney is ready to withstand the ravages of winter.

If you need to repair or replace a portion of your roof before winter, our team also offers reliable roof repair services!

winter chimney denver co
Winter has come to Denver CO…is your chimney in proper working condition to keep you warm this season?

The Need For Chimney Cleaning and The Negative Impact of Denver’s Snowy Winters

Familiarizing yourself with the essential components of your chimney is critical to ensuring safety, especially between yearly inspections.

Your chimney system is composed of seven critical parts, including:

  • Chimney liner
  • Chimney flue
  • Flashing
  • Chimney crown
  • Chimney cap
  • Smoke chamber
  • Damper

Each component is vulnerable to winter-related damage, and maintaining chimneys is vital to prevent house fires and other related damage.

chimney spalling
Spalling occurs when the mortar begins to deteriorate around your chimney due to water damage

Brick Spalling: A Serious Threat that Requires an Immediate Chimney Repair

Bricks and mortar are very porous and will soak up moisture quickly – Once the temperatures drop, the liquid trapped inside the mortar and bricks will begin to freeze and expand.

This cycle will continue throughout the winter and spring, leading to potentially severe damage in the form of brick spalling.

Unfortunately, this chimney damage can be slow and subtle at first, making it undetectable until it is too late, and you need to schedule a professional chimney repair.

Chimney Damage Caused By High Winds, Freezing Temps, and Unrelenting Snow

An efficient fireplace is only possible if all the components are not damaged, cared for by a professional chimney sweep, and functioning correctly.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature isn’t interested in maintaining your chimney structure, and the combination of high winds, moisture, freezing temperatures, and heavy snowfall can wreak havoc on your chimney, particularly the flue and chimney cap.

chimney fire
What causes chimneys to ignite?

Chimney Damage and Flue Obstructions

Denver receives an average of roughly 56.5 inches of snowfall each year.

Unfortunately, during periods of peak snowfall, the weight of the snow, combined with damage caused by heavy winds and below-freezing temperatures, can damage the inner lining of the chimney and lead to flue obstructions.

This includes dangerous creosote buildup, animals becoming trapped inside the chimney, and an accumulation of snow, all of which block proper airflow and can lead to chimney fires.

When smoke cannot escape upwards and out the chimney, it backdrafts into the home, leading to poor indoor air quality and, worse, potential carbon monoxide poisoning.

Animals can also enter the chimney during winter, looking for a safe place to escape the cool temperatures. The Chimney Kings offer animal removal from chimneys and expert chimney repair if invasive critters cause extensive damage.

chimney cleaning denver co
Clearing out your chimney of any dirt, grit or foliage that Mother Nature has deposited during the summer months is important before you can kickstart your fireplace!

Regular Chimney Cleaning and Fireplace Maintenace In Winter

The importance of proper fireplace maintenance, annual chimney cleaning, or occasional chimney repair cannot be overstated.

However, there are other steps you can take to prepare and care for your chimney throughout the winter.

Professional Chimney Services Can Maintain Your Denver Chimney and Fireplace in Winter

Your friendly neighborhood chimney sweep is your first defense against chimney fires and dangerous damage.

Want to learn more about chimney maintenance?

Here is a comprehensive guide to how chimney sweeps and an annual inspection are your first line of defense against damage and poor indoor air quality.

damaged chimney stack
Call our team today at and lets get your chimney restored ASAP!

Schedule Regular Maintenance and the Occasional Chimney Repair

Hiring a certified chimney sweep is one critical step in preventing chimney fire, but you can benefit from comprehensive chimney services in other ways.

Regularly maintaining your wood-burning stove, electric fireplaces, and gas fireplaces is one of the most critical safety precautions you can take as a Denver homeowner. When you are ready to schedule yearly chimney inspections, we can help!

Is it Time to Have Your Chimney Professionally Cleaned? Call Now!

Proper chimney maintenance starts with regular inspections and cleaning, but what are the signs that it’s Time to hire chimney cleaning services between my regular annual inspections?

  • Unpleasant odors come from the fireplace, even when you aren’t burning wood.
  • Poorly burning wood.
  • Fires are difficult to start and maintain.
  • Noticeable oily spots on your home’s inner walls.
water damage chimney denver co
Damaged and blocked chimneys can result in water damage dripping down into the fireplace.

Should I Worry About a Leaking Chimney in Winter?

Chimney sweeping and annual maintenance will help prevent unpleasant smells and prevent minor repairs from becoming serious problems, but what if your chimney is leaking?

As discussed above, your porous chimney will absorb water like a sponge, and if there is severe damage to the flue or the chimney flashing, a leaking chimney is a real possibility.

Watch Out for These Telltale Signs of a Chimney Leak!

Signs of a leaky chimney include:

  • The noticeable sound of water dripping from inside the chimney.
  • Mold and musty odors emanate from the fireplace.
  • Cracks on the exterior and interior chimney masonry.

Watch out for these and other clear chimney repair signs. If you believe your chimney is leaking or in need of repairs, call us immediately!

cleared hearth denver co
Once your hearth is clear, you can get a well-deserved fire going

The Advantages of a Well-Maintained Chimney and Hiring a Professional Chimney Sweep

A clean chimney is a properly functioning chimney, and having your chimney cleaned regularly has several advantages, some of which are probably a little less obvious.

That annual cleaning and professional inspection can do more than help prevent poor indoor air quality and costly repairs; it will also protect one of the most significant investments in your home.

You Seriously Need to Hire a Chimney Sweep ASAP

For many Denverites, their fireplace is more than the decorative centerpiece of their family room; it also acts as a supplemental heating source in winter.

Don’t leave the well-being of your chimney to chance. Instead, contact the pros at Chimney Kings for your chimney care and to prevent potential chimney issues.

We are a fantastic team of professional chimney sweeps who can do more than keep your fireplace looking spic and span. We also offer quality chimney cap installation and brick tuckpointing services to our Denver customers.

preparing a fire fireplace denver co
A well-maintained chimney and fireplace will be easier to manage come winter!

Caring For Your Fireplace in Winter: How Your Chimney Sweep Can Help

Proper fireplace maintenance is a year-round concern, but maintaining chimneys and scheduling regular cleaning is even more critical during winter.

Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your fireplace remains functional and ready for a cozy fire all winter long:

  • Learn the right way to clean your firebox: Clean your firebox at least once a week with the appropriate tools – Make sure to lay down a drop cloth to prevent a serious mess on your living room floor!
  • Only hire certified technicians to handle fireplace maintenance: The cleaning process and repair services should only be handled by certified fireplace technicians.
  • Feel cold air coming from your fireplace: Contact a professional chimney inspection company if you feel cold air; you might require immediate fireplace repairs by professionals.

Never Skip An Appointment With Your Chimney Sweep: The Dangers of Improperly Cleaned and Maintained Chimneys

Suppose you use your fireplace frequently in winter.

In that case, you already know the importance of getting your chimney swept regularly, but other potentially insidious issues can cause serious health issues for your entire family.

Taking the proper fireplace safety precautions is essential, but you must also learn about the potential dangers of creosote buildup and carbon monoxide poisoning.

creosote buildup denver co
Creosote is a black, tar-like substance that forms inside your chimney when smoke doesn’t entirely escape.

Chimney Fires From Creosote Pose a Serious Threat

Technically, creosote is a naturally occurring chemical that forms when plant-derived materials, including wood, are burned.

You will recognize creosote as the sticky, tarry substance that lines the inside of your firebox and inner chimney lining.

Regular cleaning will eliminate this highly flammable substance, but if you do not take caution to prevent creosote from building up, the results can be very dire for your home and the health of your family and loved ones.

Creosote buildup is a leading cause of severe chimney fires, but it can also cause:

  • Severe respiratory issues.
  • Skin damage in the form of peeling, blistering, and rashes.
  • In extreme cases, it can cause liver and kidney damage.
Creosote Buildup and Chimney Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association, severe creosote buildup is the primary cause of residential chimney fires, which is potentially catastrophic to your home and everyone in your neighborhood.

The best way to prevent chimney fires is to schedule an annual inspection and watch for signs of dangerous creosote build-up, including:

  • Reduced fireplace efficiency.
  • Black soot buildup around the fireplace.
  • Less draft coming from inside the fireplace.

The elimination of creosote is one of the main reasons why the National Fire Protection Association recommends regular maintenance and annual chimney cleaning by a professional chimney sweep.

Has your firebox suffered extensive damage due to an accumulation of creosote? Don’t worry because the firebox repair experts at the Chimney Kings can dispatch a chimney sweep to clean up the creosote before the repairs.

Can Creosote Build Up in My Wood Stove?

Yes, creosote buildup is possible in every chimney component, from the lining to the chimney crown and inside the chimney of your wood stove.

This is why your wood-burning stove also requires regular chimney inspection services, repair services, and even a thorough cleaning from your favorite chimney sweep.

A gas fireplace does not create creosote, but you are still in danger of potentially damaging house fires, so use your gas fireplace carefully in winter.

carbon monoxide detector
Unlike smoke, carbon monoxide has no smell. Installing a carbon monoxide detecter will potentially save lives.

Carbon Monoxide: A Deadly-Serious Issue

Once again, creosote buildup is the leading cause of chimney fires in the US, but it also poses another serious threat to the real potential of carbon monoxide buildup.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and completely colorless gas that can build up inside the home if there is any obstruction inside the chimney, including the dangerous accumulation of creosote.

Your first line of defense against carbon monoxide poisoning is having your chimney inspected regularly, cleaned at least twice a year, and installing a carbon monoxide detector on the wall near your fireplace.

professional chimney services denver co
The Chimney Kings of Denver are dedicated and seasoned professional chimney experts. Our team will manage any maintenance, repair or rebuilding work on your chimney!

Your One-Stop Shop For Expert Chimney Repairs, Inspections, and Chimney Sweep Services

If you need comprehensive chimney services ASAP, including an annual chimney cleaning, annual inspection, chimney flue replacement, or gas fireplace repair, look no further than the fantastic team at Chimney Kings.

We provide more than just chimney sweep services; we can also offer durable chimney crown solutions and emergency roof tarping, which is definitely an emergency if damage occurs to your roof during winter!

Comprehensive Fireplace Maintenance and Chimney Sweep Services

At Chimney Kings, we believe that customer service, customer satisfaction, and a job well done are the hallmarks of a successful company!

Your chimney should be functioning properly, no matter what the season.

When you hire us to handle your chimney services, including professional chimney liner repairs, you can rest assured your fireplace and family are in good hands!

professional chimney cleaning
Call the Chimney Kings today for a free consultation and let’s get your chimney ready for winter!

Our Customers Also Ask

clean ducts regularlyWhat is the ideal month to schedule a chimney inspection?

Spring or summer is the best time to schedule your yearly chimney maintenance appointment.

Remember, your chimney repair services experts will need to scale your roof to access your chimney – snow and ice accumulation on top of the roof makes this problematic and makes inspecting your chimney in winter downright dangerous.

Just try to make the appointment before the snow starts to fall!

Chimney SweepCan you clean your chimney in winter?

It is possible to schedule a chimney cleaning in winter, but we recommend any chimney maintenance, including chimney sweep services, be handled during the spring or summer.

Go ahead and clean your firebox and fireplace frequently throughout the winter to prevent creosote build-up and ensure your fireplace remains efficient.

chimney crownHow do I keep my chimney clean?

In addition to annual chimney cleaning, explore these other ways to prevent creosote buildup and generally keep your fireplace neat and clean:

  • Burn seasoned wood: Ask any professional chimney sweep, and they will tell you the key to a clean chimney is burning seasoned wood with a moisture content of no greater than 20%. 
  • Avoid artificial wood: “Fake” logs are great in a pinch but should only be burned infrequently because they release more chemicals than seasoned wood.
  • Clean the chimney brush and chimney flue regularly: Clean off the chimney brush, inside the chimney flue, and the floor around the fireplace regularly with a vacuum.
  • Avoid using your fireplace for short periods: Most creosote buildup burns in the first few minutes after starting a fire – If you are using your fireplace, keep the fire roaring for as long as possible rather than starting shorter, more frequent fires.

Contact us today for comprehensive chimney sweep services to ensure every part of your chimney, from the chimney cap to the firebox, is clean. We are also the leading dryer vent specialists in the Denver area.

Picture of Kfir W.
Kfir W.

As a boy, I used to climb trees and stand on the top of the roof of my childhood house. I love the adrenaline and looking at the world from an aerial perspective. This is why everybody calls me The Chimney King!