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Sprucing up Your Chimney for Spring

When the burning season is winding down, it’s a good time to think about sprucing up your chimney for the spring and summer. A lot has happened with your chimney during the winter, so use the lengthening days of springtime to have your system thoroughly checked out.

Spring cleaning tasks for chimneys

Creosote Buildup in ChimneyIf your fireplace burns wood, spring is the ideal time to schedule a cleaning. During the weeks and months of activity, your fireplace has worked hard to keep you warm and add elegance to your home. It also has produced its fair share of creosote.

Creosote is a flammable byproduct of burning wood that forms in the flue and sticks to its inner walls like tar. If creosote is allowed to remain inside a chimney, three things can happen:

1. Chimney fire. The more creosote lining the interior of your chimney, the better the chances are that it will ignite. A full-blown fire can destroy a home. A smaller fire – which may start and then go out on its own and never be noticed by people in the house – can do serious damage to the chimney liner and the masonry of the chimney itself.

2. Obstruction. A buildup of creosote will affect how efficiently smoke and gasses are drafted out of your chimney. Drafting problems can result in smoke backing up into the house. Worse than smoke is carbon monoxide (CO), which smoke contains. CO is a toxic gas that’s invisible and odorless, but which can cause severe health problems in humans and pets.

3. Odors. Creosote can be smelly, and if left in your chimney all spring and summer long, by the time fall comes, you can have some serious odors spreading throughout your home.

Inspecting/installing a chimney cap

Chimney CapA chimney cap sits atop the opening of the chimney and protects against infiltrating rain water, which is damaging to masonry. A cap also prevents the influx of debris such as twigs, leaves, small-animal nests and the small animals themselves.

Spring is the time of new birth, and that includes all manner of small wildlife that for some reason love to build their nests inside chimneys. Certain of these small species are unable to get out of chimneys once they get in and end up dying in there.

If your chimney cap is in disrepair, it can either be fixed or replaced to prevent all the above problems and obstructions. If you’ve never had a chimney cap, now is the time to have one professionally installed.

Why wait until crews get busy?

Scheduling chimney sweep service in the fall just before the cold season can be problematic. That’s because a large number of homeowners do just that. If you arrange your service in the spring, it will be much easier to have the work done at a time that’s convenient to your schedule.

These are some of the reasons a spring chimney spruce-up is a good idea. If you’d like to know more about chimney cleaning, chimney inspection or chimney repair in the greater Poughkeepsie, NY, area, call Hudson Valley Chimney. Our certified technicians are ready to clean and service your chimney and have it ready to roll when the cold weather comes back. Reach us at (845) 471-1071.

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