10 Things That Can Happen to a Chimney in the Spring

Your chimney doesn’t see a lot of use in the spring, so you might not think that anything can happen to it during the warmer months of the year. The reality is that this is not the case. Sure, there might not be any fires that are burning in the chimney, so there might not be a lot of smoke or heat. At the same time, there is a lot that can go wrong with a chimney during the offseason. Therefore, it is still important for homeowners to pay close attention to what is happening with the chimney during the summer.

When professionals chimney sweeps are called out to take a look at the chimney, there are a few common chimney problems they are looking for. While many of these issues can be addressed easily, it is always faster and less expensive to address early in the process. There are several common chimney problems that arise in the spring.

1. Structural Damage Related to the Chimney

Without a doubt, this is one of the most common issues that chimney sweeps address during the spring. In many cases, people can spot issues with their chimneys simply by standing outside of the home and looking up. On the other hand, damage that might still be early in the process might not be as easy to spot.

Some of the common signs of early chimney structural damage include cracks in the bricks. There might also be other signs of wear and tear. The good news is that many of these cracks can be addressed by a professional chimney sweep.

2. Water Damage Is a Common Problem

While this goes hand in hand with structural issues related to the chimney, water damage is particularly common during the spring. If there are cracks present in the chimney, water can seep into them. Then, water erodes the structure even further. Early in the spring when it gets cold at night, water might freeze. This causes it to expand, making the structural problems even worse. Over time, the chimney is eroded little by little.

If there is water damage present in the chimney, a professional chimney sweep can use a special spray coating to seal them. In some cases, more extensive work might be needed to repair the chimney.

3. Strange Odors Coming from the Chimney

Another common problem that happens to chimneys during the summer involves strange odors. While the source of the smell might have been present for several months, it might not have risen to the surface until the heat made the door more pungent. During the summer, chimney smells start to become a serious issue.

There are a few reasons why there might be an unusual odor coming from the chimney. In some cases, there might be a dead animal that is starting to decompose in the chimney. On the other hand, the source of the smell might be due to animal droppings. Regardless of the cause, a thorough chimney cleaning from a trained professional can fix this issue.

4. The Accumulation of Creosote

Fireplaces that burn wood accumulate something called creosote as they burn. This is a common byproduct that comes from the smoke. This substance is very sticky and extremely flammable. Over time, it builds up in the flue. Eventually, this poses a serious safety risk to the house and everyone who lives in it.

It is always a smart idea to call a professional chimney sweep to address this problem. Trained professionals know how to remove this creosote from the chimney. While the chimney might not be used as often during the summer, creosote is still a major safety risk. It is important to get rid of this before the fireplace is used again.

 5. Damage from High Winds

During the summer, high winds from summer storms can lead to problems. For example, the winds might sweep off the chimney cap, which exposes the chimney to precipitation from above. Furthermore, high winds can also damage the flashing of the chimney. The flashing is a metal barrier that is present on the outside of the chimney. It helps join the chimney to the roof. If the winds are too strong, it might rip the flashing away from the roof, leading to serious structural problems due to water damage.

6. Summer Rains

Along with high winds comes summer rain. When the wind has ripped away from the flashing, this exposes the delicate underbelly of the chimney. As a result, water can fall not only into the opening the has been created by an absent chimney cap but also the foundation of the chimney itself because the flashing is gone.

This can seep through the chimney, damage its structure, and lead to home damage as well. This is why it is important to catch problems related to the flashing before they lead to serious structural problems.

7. The Presence of Permanent Residents

During the colder months, there are fires burning in the chimney fairly regularly. This does a great job of keeping animals away from the chimney. On the other hand, as the weather starts to warm up, there aren’t as many fires burning in the chimney. All of a sudden, the chimney seems like an attractive place for small animals who might be looking for a place to live.

Some of the most common animals that like to set up shop in the chimney include birds, squirrels, bees, and even snakes. Some of these animals like to build nests and have babies. Some of them even die in the chimney. These animals and their nests can lead to serious problems related to airflow issues. They can also act as fuel for a chimney fire should one start spontaneously. It is important to make sure these animals are removed so they cannot pose safety issues.

8. A Cracked Crown

Over time, the crown of the chimney itself might start to crack. There are numerous reasons why cracks in the crown might be present. Sometimes, the crown simply degrades with time. In other cases, a heavy object (such as hail) might have struck the crown during the winter. Problems are only now starting to arise with it.

There are a number of issues that might develop if the crown has been cracked. The biggest issue is that water damage might start to get worse, which was mentioned above. The good news is that trained chimney repair professionals can address this issue quickly. In some cases, damage to the crown can be sealed. In other cases, the crown might have to be rebuilt entirely.

9. A Damaged Chimney Cap

The chimney cap plays an important role. The job of the chimney cap is to protect the chimney from water damage, debris, and small animals that might otherwise like to pass down the flue and into the home. As mentioned above, chimney caps might be blown away by high winds; however, there are other ways that they can be damaged as well. Falling objects, animals, and routine wear and tear can lead to damage.

It is important to make sure the chimney cap is inspected during the summer. If there is an issue, then it needs to be addressed before the problem spreads. This is where a local chimney sweep can be helpful.

10. Spontaneous Chimney Fires

Finally, one of the biggest hazards that might arise during the spring or summer is a spontaneous chimney fire. This can happen when creosote builds up in the chimney itself. This is a highly flammable mixture that doesn’t take much to light. Then, when the fire lights, it can spread quickly. If nobody is home to put it out, this can present a major safety issue.

In order to prevent this problem from developing, it is important to have the chimney inspected on a regular basis. This is where it is helpful to reach out to a local professional chimney sweep for help. This can prevent chimney fires from spontaneously lighting.

Reach Out to Professional Chimney Sweeps for Help

These are just a few of the many issues that might arise when it comes to chimney issues during the spring. If you are looking for chimney sweeping services, then reach out to local chimney sweeps near me. Make sure that any problems with your chimney are addressed by trained professionals! Call us today!