Hurricanes are powerful tropical storms that could wreak havoc on the structure of your home if you do not take the time to prepare for the situation.
Homeowners often overlook the chimney; while your windows and roof are important components, so is your fireplace. Use our tips to safely secure your chimney and prevent storm damage.
When you know a storm is coming but hasn’t hit land yet, take this opportunity to walk around your house and inspect the masonry for damage. If there are any cracks in the brickwork, try to repair them before the hurricane; otherwise, heavy wind and rain can damage the chimney and allow water to seep into the flue.
For quick fixes, you can use caulk to minimize storm damage, but remember to call a technician afterward to repair the structure properly.
Secure the Chimney Cap
If you do not already have a chimney cap, an incoming hurricane is a significant reason to invest in one. This cap can prevent water from entering the flue in excessive amounts—it acts as a lid for the top of the chimney. During high winds, the cap can fall off; ensure it’s secure before the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Check the Fireplace Damper
The damper inside the fireplace further prevents water from entering the interior of your home. If you do not close the damper, any rain that sneaks past the chimney cap will leak into the house, causing damage to the hearth and firebox. Double-check the damper and close it before the storm to avoid accidents.
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Each tropical storm is different—one could be more severe than another—and this requires different tactics to ensure the structural integrity of your fireplace. Hurricane straps allow you to secure the chimney to the home to prevent it from collapsing. Not every hurricane will call for this precaution, but if the brickwork is old, the hurricane straps can provide extra protection.
Follow these steps when preparing your chimney for a hurricane, or you could face severe structural damage once the storm passes. When a storm is coming, take that time to ensure your home is safe and give yourself one less thing to worry about. If you notice problems with the structure once the hurricane is gone, call a technician for an inspection to receive help.