Fuel oil and natural gas prices have soared, leading to the popularity of alternative fuels. Wood stove, pellet stove, and fireplace use are all on the rise, but with each of these comes a hidden danger that every dedicated wood burner needs to keep in mind: burning wood creates creosote, which, if left untreated, can cause fires.

If you are like most home owners, you've probably never paid much attention to your chimney crown. The chimney crown serves an important role in protecting the chimney against harsh weather, but most people don't realize that the crown also needs to be protected. When left unprotected, a chimney crown will eventually crack and deteriorate.

If you are like most homeowners, you don't think about your chimney until you have a problem. Because chimneys project above the roof line, they are exposed to more severe weather than any other part of your home. Spending a little time to protect your chimney now may save you thousands of dollars down the road after more serious damage occurs.

FamilyHandyman.com recently featured a how-to article on maintaining your chimney. It shows how to repair your chimney crown and waterproof your chimney. DIY chimney repair can be accomplished in four easy steps. Download the full pdf article here. (Reprinted with permission)

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