Winter has drawn to a close, and as the weather warms and people shed their heavy coats and crack their windows for the first time this season, many homeowners will also begin essential seasonal maintenance on their chimneys. Winter weather and heavy use can take a toll on your chimney, and it is a good annual practice to ensure that it is still in shape for the rest of the year, and to fix any damage that may have occurred. Diligent spring maintenance from a qualified chimney service in Montgomery County PA can help you avoid more serious repair issues and keep your chimney working well for years to come. Take a look at the video below to see why you should schedule your spring maintenance now:
Clear Out Creosote Buildup
Fireplaces and chimneys see their heaviest use in the winter months, and pesky creosote is an unavoidable side-effect of this. Creosote is a chemical compound found in wood smoke. When smoke rises up the chimney, creosote mixes with cold air and water and solidifies into a black, tarry substance that sticks to the lining and builds up inside the flue. Creosote is highly flammable, and can drastically increase your risk of a chimney fire as it builds up.
Creosote won’t go away on its own, but chimney services today have effective ways to deal with different stages of buildup. The amount of buildup your chimney will have depends on the last time it was cleaned. There are specialized brushes that can clear out smaller amounts of creosote and chemical solvents for thicker coatings. Even if it’s hard and caked on past the point of cleaning, the chimney liner can simply be replaced. New installation methods have made this process easier and faster than ever before.
Replace Your Lining
Moisture from winter weather often takes a toll on a chimney’s lining. An intact liner is absolutely crucial for a chimney’s performance; it prevents the brick and mortar from absorbing too much heat from your fireplace and allows the smoke to travel safely out of the chimney. Outside moisture from rain or snow is one of the main causes of chimney liner damage. Relining your chimney in the spring can undo the damage done by the east coast winter and keep it working optimally throughout the rest of the year.
Install a Chimney Cap
Chimney caps are a preventative measure that can help you avoid future issues by keeping debris out of your fireplace. Usually made of steel or copper, caps are designed to keep out debris like sticks and leaves, as well as any animal that may want to gain access to your chimney. Birds, bats, squirrels, and raccoons are among the most common animals reported found in chimneys, and having a cap can help prevent the need to get one of these pests out of your home.
Repair Winter Damage
The freeze and thaw cycle of winter can be brutal not only for your chimney, but also for stucco and other masonry around your home. If moisture seeps in during the day, when it freezes at night, it expands, resulting in cracks and deterioration. After the last frost, it’s a good idea to inspect your home for any damage, and then call a professional to get it repaired.
Schedule Repairs or Chimney Cleaning Now
There are a lot of issues that can arise when a chimney is left unchecked for too long, but spring and summer, when you’re not using your chimney, is an excellent time to make sure your chimney is up to snuff. It’s also the best time to schedule a cleaning so you can make sure your chimney is ready to keep you warm and toasty in the fall. If you’re interested in learning more about chimney repairs in Bensalem, PA, or the surrounding area, reach out to the pros at Above All Chimney & Masonry today!