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Common Summer Chimney Issues

Winter is, without a doubt, your Chimney’s busiest season; with cold weather and holidays, some chimneys go nonstop. But did you know that summertime can also cause problems for your chimney? Yes, the “off-season” can be a time where unexpected issues pop up one after the other. Don’t let this happen to you, knowing what to look for can help you stay on top of potential issues with your chimney.

Take a look at these 5 common chimney issues that occur in Summer.

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Excess Creosote

You may be familiar with soot – the powdery residue in your firebox but creosote usually forms further up the flue as the sticky byproduct of burning firewood. Yes, all chimneys will have a measure of creosote but if left unchecked this substance can accumulate and clog a chimney, reducing airflow and preventing the smoke from venting properly. Creosote is highly flammable and could start a chimney fire and poses a risk to surrounding structures. Professionals recommend having the chimney cleaned once a year. It is better to do it in the summer so that the chimney is ready for the winter season.

Animal Visitors

Unfortunately for homeowners squirrels, raccoons, birds, and even bees can take a liking to an unused chimney. It’s quiet, dark, and away from predators, what’s not to like? They are more likely to seek shelter in the springtime to have babies or in the summertime since there are no fires to keep them away. It is common for homeowners to hear strange noises or actually see a critter or two coming down the chimney for a visit.

Damages from Wind and Storms

During the summer, hail and freezing temperatures are no longer a concern but the threat of hurricanes and thunderstorms is real. Strong storms can negatively affect the flashing. This is the metal barrier between the chimney and the roof, an important safeguard against leaks. The chimney cap is a metal piece that fits over the mouth of the chimney protecting it from water and animals. In heavy storms, these two pieces of equipment take the most beating. If either of these is missing or not working properly that chimney is at a higher risk of water damage.

Odors coming from the chimney

As mentioned before animals love an unoccupied chimney. They can live, have babies and even die in an unattended chimney. Scheduling yearly maintenance such as chimney inspections and cleaning during the summer can help you find these issues before they become hazards.

Chimney Structural Damage, Cold Spring NY, Germantown NY

Structural Damage

Freeze and thaw cycles take place all winter long. This is bad news for your chimney because water seeps into the brick through tiny pores, freezes, and expands during freezing weather. This expansion can cause cracks throughout the brick and mortar. When small, these cracks can be fixed with a spray-on sealant. The problem is that due to the location of chimneys homeowners rarely see these cracks when they are small. They can grow and grow causing serious structural damage that can only be repaired by a partial or complete rebuild.

The best course of action during summer is to have a chimney inspection with a professional that knows to look out for these sore spots. We here at Hudson Valley Chimney understand that these issues don’t wait for “the right time.” We are always prepared to fix your issues quickly and efficiently. Call us toll-free at 800-439-1071 or contact us online to schedule your chimney inspection today!

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