Common Chimney Problems to Watch For in Spring and Summer
Chimneys are vulnerable to certain types of damage in any season, including summer. This is often a surprise to homeowners. A lot more people recognize that freezing temperatures in winter can wreak havoc on chimney masonry. Hidden danger can occur in spring and summer, as well. Annual inspections recommended by the most recognized fire safety organizations can mean a chimney professional discovers any damage done in winter and looming problems that can occur as the weather warms up.
Types of Chimney Problems in Spring and Summer
When your fireplace and chimney are getting a break from winter use, there are seasonal threats that can cause chimney damage, including the following:
• The chimney could become infested with bees or other insects.
• The flashing and/or chimney crown could be damaged in high winds and heavy storms. The resulting leaks can cause masonry and/or roof damage.
• Excess humidity could result in moisture in the chimney flue that causes deterioration. If a flue has even a tiny crack in it, using your fireplace becomes very dangerous. It’s essential to repair or replace a damaged flue before using your fireplace again.
• A federally protected bird called a chimney swift migrates from South America every summer. The preferred place for the birds to nest is in chimneys or hollow trees. A chimney cap with wire mesh will prevent the birds from intruding inside your home.
- Other animals are also frequently found inside chimneys, including raccoons, snakes, squirrels, and rats; but a chimney cap will keep these critters out, as well.
- Humidity in the air combined with a chimney that has either animal droppings of some kind or a lot of creosote in the flue can result in bad smells wafting into your home. Excess creosote could also lead to a dangerous chimney fire, if you don’t schedule professional chimney cleaning before winter.
- If moisture has been in the chimney masonry for a while, the result is that eventually, the masonry begins to deteriorate. If repairs aren’t made, the chimney could start to lean or buckle. Prolonged neglect could result in a dangerous chimney collapse.
Tips for Protecting your Chimney
All of the various components of a chimney on the exterior portion need to be in a good state of repair, to keep moisture out. Nothing else that can damage a chimney is as big a threat as moisture. Keeping animals out also prevents a lot of hassle and possible expense. The following are steps that will help you to protect your chimney and prevent the need for more costly repairs:
- If you don’t already have a chimney cap, purchase one and have it installed by a professional chimney sweep.
- If you have a chimney cap but it is worn or damaged, have it repaired or replaced.
- Schedule an expert chimney inspection. If you use your chimney frequently in winter, an annual chimney cleaning is also important.
- In the event your chimney inspection reveals that there has been damage or deterioration to your chimney, have repairs done before winter. Neglecting needed repairs just means future expenses will come at a higher cost.
- When you get a thumbs-up from your chimney sweep, verifying that your chimney is free of moisture damage, have waterproofing sealant applied to all vulnerable areas of your chimney. This will definitely include your chimney crown but on some chimneys, there is excess moisture exposure on the chimney stack, as well. Have the entire exterior of the chimney waterproofed, as needed.
Best Chimney Sweep Company NY
Contact the licensed, qualified chimney professionals at Hudson Valley Chimney Service, Inc., to schedule a chimney inspection and chimney cleaning during the off season. For the best chimney sweep services delivered to homeowners in the Hudson Valley area since 1976, call (800) 439-1071 today.