It’s that time of year again. No, we’re not talking about the holidays or shopping lists. We’re talking about wintry weather and high heating costs. As chimney repair experts, there are a few things we do in our own homes to prepare for the weather and we think will benefit your family as well. With our money-saving tips, you might add North Shore Roofing to your Christmas card list this year.

Tip 1: Chimney Inspections Aren’t Recommended, They Are Essential

Whether you have a wood stove, electric, or gas fireplace, heat plays havoc on chimney parts. While many chimney repair companies recommend yearly inspections, we see them as essential in our homes to reducing build-up and ensuring each part is working at its maximum level. If your parts are aging or broken, a chimney is going to require more wood, gas, or electricity to keep a home warm. Poor maintenance will also create home hazards that increase the risk of fires. We think of a chimney inspection as a precautionary way to validate your home’s health and ensure your family is safe.

Tip 2: Perform Visual Checks Throughout A Chimney’s Usage

A property owner is the first line of defense in keeping a home safe. You are also our best ally in catching small issues before they become major problems. If you notice parts that are blackened, soot build-up, cracks, or masonry damage, you will want to call us at North Shore Roofing as quickly as possible to mitigate the damage and reduce the taxation on your chimney as it tries harder to work.

Tip 3: Your Chimney Cap Isn’t There For Decorations, So Inspect It Yearly

If you are an out-of-sight-out-of-mind type of homeowner, you can thank us later for inspecting your chimney cap during yearly inspections whether we are performing a routine residential roofing or chimney check-up. Not only should it be working at a top performance level, but it should be firmly attached to the chimney pipe so that it secures the airway and keeps smaller rodents from entering.

Tip 4: Experience Is A Great Teacher, But Don’t Wait Until A Tree Hits Your Chimney To Learn This Lesson

As roofing and chimney experts, you can’t imagine how many times we have been called about a tree falling and causing damage, whether it is from bad weather or aging trees. While we inspect your roof or chimney, we also look for exterior dangers like nearby trees or overhanging limbs. Trees can easily puncture roofs or take out a chimney altogether, so pay close attention to any near the home.

Tip 5: Maintain Your Fireplace

If you heat with gas, you should regularly check the vents, liners, burners, damper, and pilot light to make sure everything is in working order. Call us if you find broken or damaged parts that need repair. For electric fireplaces, check the electric lines and connections to ensure they are in working condition and properly secured. You’ll also want to sweep or vacuum the fireplace to remove dust.

For wood fireplaces, you should clean out the firebox when ashes exceed one inch. You will want to be careful when performing this task as residue can remain hot for up to seventy-two hours. Simply sweep or vacuum the ashes out and clean any soot build-up off the fireplace walls (if burning wood). Don’t worry about throwing the ashes away if you have a compost pile. Ashes enhance composts.

If you have yet to have your chimney serviced, call us at (978) 977-3816 or visit our Facebook page at to set up an appointment. We’ll gladly inspect it and let you know if you require any immediate chimney repairs. Count on us to do the hard work now so you have more time to spend with your family during the upcoming holiday season.