When winter ends, checking your roof, gutters and chimney are an essential part of home maintenance that many homeowners neglect. If you’re looking to break that habit, here’s some tip and tricks for chimney maintenance you can perform yourself. We’ll also point out when it’s time to call a professional to check on your chimney.

Chimney Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

Many homeowners perform chimney sweeps themselves. It’s relatively easy if you don’t burn a lot during the winter. If you do burn a lot, you may need to perform a second or third chimney sweep and even consider hiring a professional to do a heavy-duty cleaning. Investing in a good chimney cleaning set is key, too, especially if you’re doing it yourself and using your chimney a lot during the cold months.

Depending on how cold winter was, you’ll want to check your flashing and rain caps around the chimney. You can do this with a ladder, and in some cases, just a pair of binoculars. If you see any lifting, holes, rusting, or other issues, you’ll want to consult a professional to come take care of them as soon as possible.

You’ll want to check your chimney thoroughly for critters, too. Spring is when they come out of hiding, start getting frisky and can take up residence in your chimney and areas around it. Vents, flashing and rain caps are great places for small rodents to hide so make sure to check them carefully or hire a professional to come out and take care of it for you. Be careful when checking for critters yourself and if you suspect an infestation, call a professional right away.

If there’s any issues with your chimney that you feel are out of the scope of what you can handle, hire a professional. While you can do some repairs yourself, and you certainly can do maintenance yourself, there’s some issues that are beyond your expertise and require the hand of a professional. Make sure to check your chimney after every winter to ensure it’s in working condition and no issues will eventually cause damage to your roof or home.