During the hot summers, you are more likely to spend more time cooling off in the swimming pool than sitting beside a warm fireplace. Although you may not be planning on using the fireplace, you still need to look for common summer chimney problems. It will minimize future chimney repairs and keep your home and family safe.
Your wood-burning fireplace is a welcome sight on a cold night in Overland Park, KS. While the smoke and exhaust billow out the chimney, creosote deposits build up inside the flue. This carbonaceous volatile organic compound is naturally created when the oils in the wood are distilled during combustion. Without periodic chimney sweeping, the creosote will harden into a brown or black and oily or tarry material that is extremely difficult to remove without professional assistance. In addition, the summer heat or a lightning bolt strike during a thunderstorm could ignite the creosote and start a fire in the chimney. A chimney fire can quickly engulf your entire house, resulting in extensive property damage, injuries, and even death.
Muskrats, opossums, raccoons, small birds, and other wildlife running around in the neighborhood may find your open chimney an inviting place to hide from predators. Their nests and the mess they make attracts rodents and pests. You may hear live animals moving around inside the chimney at night. It is also dangerous. Their nests are combustible and can ignite just as easily as creosote. In addition, animal nests restrict the airflow and can cause a hazardous backdraft the next time you light the fireplace, filling your home with smoke and poisonous carbon monoxide gas.
Whew! Do you have to hold your nose when you walk past the fireplace? Fireplace odors can be nasty in the summer. The heat and humidity oxidize organic matter in your chimney, like rotting leaves, dead animals, creosote, soot, and other debris in the chimney. Regular chimney sweeping will help prevent those unpleasant odors.
The Kansas City area is in the heart of “tornado alley,” so we get our fair share of summer storms, lightning, and hail that can damage your chimney. Since Chimneys are typically the highest point of the house, they are more vulnerable to storm damage. Severe weather can loosen or even knock off the chimney cap, damage the crown, and cause brick and mortar to crack, flake, and crumble. In addition, storm damage puts your chimney at risk for water damage, so always inspect the chimney immediately after a significant weather event.
Chimney Sweep Inspection
Have you had your annual chimney inspection and sweeping yet? Summer is an excellent time to do it. So, when you need a professional sweep to inspect, clean, and repair your chimney, fireplace, and heating stove, the certified chimney sweeps at Fluesbrothers get the job done safely and efficiently.