Keeping Your Chimney in Tip Top Shape

To the untrained eye, chimneys may appear to continue doing their job reasonably well, even when they are falling into disrepair. Because of this, it is often the case that regular upkeep is neglected. Since much of the chimney system is exposed to the elements, it can deteriorate over time, eventually causing expensive repairs and safety issues. Taking a good look at the state of your chimney exterior and considering small restorative steps is the best thing you can do to prevent this from happening.

Almost all materials suffer from prolonged contact with water, and the materials that make up the chimney are no exception. Whether your chimney is constructed of brick, concrete, mortar, or a combination of materials, its ability to function at its best will be lessened over time through consistent contact with rain, snow and ice. This happens quickest in the winter, when moisture that has penetrated the materials freezes and expands periodically. Water can also enter the chimney flue and cause steel and cast iron to rust, cause cracking, and produce mold and mildew.

If you haven’t had your chimney checked out this year, after the winter weather has had a few months to do its usual damage, it might be a good time to get this checked out. A professional will know the problem areas to target for repair.

Chimney Caps to Keep out Animals

A professional can also recommend and install a chimney cap, which is not only effective in directing rain, snow, and ice away from the flue, but also protects the roof from burning embers and prevents animals from nesting inside and creating additional problems.

Blocking their entrance saves you from the irritating sounds and smells of sharing your home with outdoor critters, but is more important in preventing the dangers they may bring with them. During colder months, raccoons, squirrels and birds will be attracted to the warmth radiating from around the chimney as they move from roof to roof, and be more likely to make themselves at home. When animals nest and collect inside the flue, they block the exit for smoke and harmful gases, which then backup and are forced into your home, creating smoke and soot damage, in addition to the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

You’ll have a whole new set of problems on your hands, should an animal become trapped in the chimney. Even less pleasant, a decomposing animal will almost certainly attract flies and maggots, in addition to filling your home with a rancid odor, which may in fact be what clues you in to the problem! Don’t chance removing an animal yourself, alive or otherwise. Allow Clean Sweep to take care of the situation for you and save you from a major headache.

Avoid these types of problems ahead of time by calling us to install a cap onto your chimney. This will protect from unwanted visitors and from the elements. Give Clean Sweep a call for more professional advice for chimney upkeep.