When the weather turns warm and you only periodically burn a fire, you begin thinking about closing the fireplace or furnace down for the season. Spring can be stressful as you think about spring cleaning along with home, lawn, and auto maintenance, but you can’t overlook the chimney.
Have the Chimney Cleaned
A certified chimney sweep company will offer a thorough cleaning that includes the entire chimney system. Billy Sweet’s chimney sweeps can be scheduled year-round and include:
- Assessment of accessible portions of chimney’s interior and exterior
- Assessment of factory-build units for cracks
- Sweep your chimney with special brushes
- Check your chimney liner for cracks, gaps, and missing joints
- Scrub yours chimney’s smoke chamber, smoke shelf, and damper with hand tools
- Sweep the firebox and clear any ash
- Remove and brush the grate
- Check for any fire safety hazards
When your chimney is thoroughly cleaned of soot, creosote, and any leftover debris, you can rest assured knowing it won’t stink through the warm, humid days of summer. By having this sweep done in the spring you will also know it is ready when burn season returns in the fall.
Have the Chimney Inspected
As part of your chimney sweep appointment, you can also schedule a CSIA chimney inspection so that you are aware of major issues with your chimney. If your chimney is damaged it is susceptible to water damage as we enter the wettest months of the year—spring. Water is a nuisance through winter because of the freeze/thaw cycle that can damage your masonry. Water can also be a hazard through the warm months because it can cause mold which can affect the air quality in the house and cause respiratory illnesses.
Seal Off the Chimney
You can lose cool air up the chimney during the summer causing you to spend many times as much on utilities. The best way to prevent conditioned air loss via the chimney is to close the damper. The standard cast iron damper installed at the throat of the chimney doesn’t have a tight seal. Because of the money saved, many homeowners are opting for a top-sealing damper, also called an energy-saving damper. This damper is installed on the top of the chimney at the flue opening and acts as a chimney cap while open. When the damper is closed it has a rubber air-tight seal which closes the chimney off completely from the top. This doesn’t only save on utilities, but also prevents humidity and moisture in through the top of the chimney.
By scheduling routine maintenance now, you allow time to make necessary repairs before burning season. A chimney expert can get work done quickly, but if it’s put off until the “fall rush” it is hard to get an appointment. Avoid problems with your chimney this summer, and make sure it’s prepared for burn season by calling a chimney sweep today at 207-773-7933 or request an appointment online.