Here at Above All Chimney & Masonry, our experts are the people homeowners in Philadelphia call for chimney repairs. But there are some effective ways to avoid the need for chimney repair, and one of the best is by hiring a chimney sweep.
But maybe you’re not sure whether this service is really necessary at this time. To find out, here are some signs that you can look for. If you’ve noticed any of them, it’s time to call us.
Your chimney has become an animal sanctuary.
You’ve heard of having bats in the belfry, but chirping in the chimney is equally problematic. Birds can build nests in chimneys, and since they don’t know anything about building codes, they use flammable materials like grass, straw, and twigs, which create a fire hazard for both their home and yours. Squirrels and raccoons have also been known to move into chimneys.
You can smell an odor from your fireplace or chimney.
If the pleasant aroma of burning logs has been replaced by a bad smell you can’t quite identify, it’s a sign of a problem with the updraft system in the chimney’s shaft. In this case, it isn’t what you can smell that should worry you – it’s the odorless gases, like carbon monoxide, that may also be getting trapped in your home that are the real problem.
It’s a struggle to get and keep a fire going.
Whenever something in your home fails to perform its basic function, you know there’s a problem. In the case of a fireplace, this means difficulty either starting a fire or preventing a fire from going out. You know this is a sign your fireplace needs sweeping because it indicates a clogged chimney shaft. Clogs can also lead to an excess of smoke when you have a fire going.
You can see an accumulation of soot or creosote.
Creosote is a transparent, greasy liquid with a strong odor. It builds up when you burn fires at low temperatures and can trap soot as it sticks to the firebox (the area where the fire occurs) and chimney liners, creating a fire hazard.
For a summary, here’s a quick video: