It’s no secret that your chimney doesn’t get much use in the warmer months; this is true for nearly all chimney owners. However, a few problems can occur during the chimney “off-season,” and it’s always important to remain proactive and aware of issues that may arise.
As you might expect, chimney sweeps aren’t called out to homes often throughout the summer months, but they know to keep an eye out for the common chimney problems when they are. Many of these problems are easy to remedy when addressed proactively, so it’s important to remember to keep up chimney maintenance year-round.
If damage to the structure of your chimney is advanced, you’ll be able to tell just by looking at it, but remember that the key is to remain proactive. For this reason, it’s important to keep an eye out for early signs of damage, such as hairline cracks in bricks and mortar. At this stage, it’s easy to have a professional seal your mortar with a specialized spray coating. Spray coating will prevent moisture from entering the structure of your chimney. Regular chimney inspections can keep you aware of any early signs of damage to the structure of your chimney.
In the warmer months, it can be easier to detect odors that went unnoticed throughout the winter. Soot, trapped animal droppings — or worse, a dead animal — and moisture build-up can contribute to unpleasant smells wafting into your home. Regular chimney cleaning can remedy and prevent this problem.
In wood-burning fireplaces, creosote is a natural byproduct of fireplace use. It’s a tar-like substance that can accumulate over time and become a serious fire risk. The build-up is most noticeable in the flue. It’s always recommended to have your chimney thoroughly cleaned before you intend to use it. Having your chimney cleaned in the summer can keep you abreast of any potential issues that may arise before the winter season.
Sometimes, wild animals, birds, and insects decide to nest in a chimney. Chimney sweeps have seen everything from squirrels to snakes to beehives making residential chimneys their home. In unfortunate cases, these inhabitants can become trapped and die. Any animal inhabitants in your chimney can present serious airflow, safety, and sanitary concerns when you go to use your chimney.
Damage from Storms
Everyone knows that summer is a wicked time for frequent thunderstorms, hail storms, and high winds. In these conditions, your chimney’s flashing and cap are at risk for damage. If either of these parts of your chimney is damaged, your home’s interior and exterior become exposed to water damage.