Michigan chimneys get a lot of use in the winter. With heavy snowfall, power outages, and chilly weather, the fire is the ideal place to warm up on a dark winter night. But perhaps one of the most important uses for your chimney this winter is Santa! Our jolly, gift-giving friend visits only once a year, and it’s important he can make it down your chimney safely. Not to mention a clean, healthy chimney will keep your home warm and safe as well.

Get your chimney swept

Dirty chimneys can cause a lot of issues. Buildup from previous fires and months of no use can cause blockages that trap carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases in your home. A chimney that hasn’t been swept in quite some time is also one of the leading factors of dangerous chimney fires. If you use your fireplace regularly in the winter, you should have your chimney swept at least once a year to keep your family safe, and Santa’s suit nice and clean.

Check flashing

If you’ve got a leak coming from your chimney, chances are it’s the flashing that’s to blame. Flashing is the material roofers use to seal any gap between shingles and the chimney, and over time it can become weathered and crack or shrink, which can cause major leaks. Not only do these leaks let water and snow in, they let heat out, which is why it’s important to get your flashing looked at as soon as possible if you suspect it might be leaking. It is good to know that flashing is easily repaired, so don’t worry about having to go through the hassle of getting it repaired. If you have your local roofing expert come out, it will probably only take a few hours before your chimney is fixed and leak free.

Consider a chimney cap

Chimney caps are a very smart idea for anyone who’s looking to avoid critters (other than Santa) creeping down the chimney. They go over the opening of your chimney and block animals and debris from falling into your home. Bats love the warm, dark hiding spots that a lot of chimneys offer, and a chimney cap will keep them from taking up residence. Don’t worry about a chimney cap deterring Santa, though. We’ve been informed that his magic allows him to slip through chimney caps easily.

Make sure Santa has plenty of room to land

Santa needs a nice clearing to land his reindeer and sleigh on your roof. Make sure you’ve got enough space around your roof that’s clear of branches and large trees, so he can set down comfortably. It’s also a best practice to keep trees and branches cleared away from your roof so they don’t crash down and break anything during winter storms and heavy snowfall.

Check chimney mortar

If you’ve got a brick chimney, it’s also a good idea to have the mortar holding the bricks together inspected every few years. The last thing you need is for your chimney to fall apart when Santa’s trying to squeeze down it. Chimney mortar does have a tendency to crack over time, and by inspecting it regularly, you can determine if your chimney will need maintenance and reinforcement before it becomes a structural problem.


Your chimney is actually fairly easy to take care of, so long as you’re remembering to inspect it at least once a year. Most chimney upkeep doesn’t take that long and will save you a ton of money in the long run by getting it done before problems arise. If your chimney flashing is leaking, or you haven’t had that part of your roof looked at in a while, be sure to give the experts at Werner Roofing a call. We’ll come out and make sure your roof is sealed up tight and is safe for Santa. Give our office a call at 616-844-5382 or contact us online for a free estimate.

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