Your fireplace and chimney probably sit idle during the summer months, so that means there’s nothing to worry about, right? Well, not quite. You see, it’s not uncommon for your chimney to suffer issues during the off-season that can affect its performance and your safety once winter arrives. In this article, we look at what can happen to your chimney during summer, so you can fix it and be safe when you fire it up on that first cold day.
Significant chimney damage is easy to spot but often expensive to repair, so it’s in your best interest to address minor issues before they escalate. Early signs of chimney damage include cracks in the brick or mortar, which allow water to seep in, freeze and expand during winter, and cause the damage to worsen. Summer gives you an excellent opportunity to call a professional for a chimney inspection, so you can identify potential problems and fix them before winter.
Another issue many homeowners encounter is foul odors coming from the chimney. Once summer arrives and the temperatures heat up, it causes odors to flow more freely into the house. If your chimney has excessive soot and creosote buildup, or perhaps a rodent has gotten stuck inside and died, you might notice a significant stink coming from your chimney.
People who rely heavily on their fireplaces during winter must deal with the byproducts of burning wood, one of the most dangerous is creosote. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, “Creosote is formed when volatile gases given off in the burning process combine and condense on their way out of the chimney. Creosote hardens inside chimneys and if it builds up, can clog up.” What makes creosote so dangerous is that it’s highly flammable, and most chimney fires are caused by dirty chimneys.
One never knows what Mother Nature has in store; sometimes, she likes to remind us who’s boss, sending extreme weather with high winds, lightning, and rain. These weather conditions can wreak havoc on your chimney, not only damaging the bricks and mortar joints, but the flashing, cap, and other vital components. Damaged chimney components allow water to get into the structure, leading to deterioration that may require expensive repairs or a chimney rebuild.
Schedule Chimney Cleaning & Inspection Early
Most homeowners schedule their chimney cleaning, maintenance, and inspection during the fall. However, we recommend doing it in the spring or early summer because chimney sweeps are in high demand just before winter, so it can be a challenge to schedule an appointment.
Another reason to schedule maintenance and cleaning as early as possible is so you have ample time to repair any damage or address any issues found before winter. If your chimney service detects a major problem, you can more easily schedule repairs before they get booked up during the fall and early winter. Everyone is busy during summer with vacations and shuffling the kids from one activity to another, so it’s easy to put off chimney cleaning until it’s too late and you’re ready to light that fire on that first chilly fall evening.
Fluesbrothers has served homeowners throughout the Kansas City metro area for well over a decade. We’re a full-service chimney company, which means we’re the only ones you’ll ever need to call when you need chimney or fireplace repairs, installation, cleaning, or maintenance. We’re members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild, and we’re fully certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute.
Call us today at 913-236-7141 to schedule chimney cleaning, maintenance, inspection, or repair or click here to fill out our online appointment form.