Many folks stop thinking about their fireplaces after the last fire of the season is extinguished, and don’t consider them again until the first chilly day in autumn. While it is tempting to avoid adding one more item to the spring cleaning checklist, there are actually some pretty good reasons to take care of this now.
During the warmer weather, particularly when it is rainy, water may enter through your chimney. This may be due to the need for a protective rain cap, because of gaps or cracks in the exterior masonry, or simply as the result of condensation forming inside the chimney flue. If this moisture comes into contact with creosote deposits in your chimney, a smoky odor may develop, which could enter into your living space if any downdrafts are present.
In addition, standing creosote can degrade the integrity of your chimney liner if left in place over the warm weather months, which could lead to costly liner repairs if not addressed in a timely manner.
Give us a call today to schedule your annual chimney sweep and evaluation, and avoid the scheduling delays caused by the “busy season” rush this autumn.
Now that spring weather has arrived we are all taking advantage of the lovely weather, opening our windows and enjoying the sounds of springtime. It’s great to see signs of life returning to our surroundings. However, one place where we don’t particularly want to hear those sounds is from inside the chimney!
While you are outside surveying your home, lawn and garden, it would be wise to take a look up at your chimney, to ensure all is in good order there as well. If a chimney cap is missing, or improperly secured, it presents an attractive destination for neighborhood wildlife to seek refuge from the elements.
In addition to four-footed lodgers such as squirrels and raccoons, chimneys can also attract chimney swifts. These birds are unusual, in that they are incapable of perching, but rather cling to vertical surfaces, and build their nests on these surfaces. With the advent of civilization in their native habitats, and the loss of the hollow trees that used to be their nesting locations, they are now mostly found in chimneys.
The key is to address this BEFORE they gain entry. While raccoons and squirrels may be removed by wildlife professionals, you would actually have to wait until the chimney swifts are ready to leave on their own, as they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, and neither birds nor nests may be removed without a federal permit.
Just give us a call, and one of our Blackburns chimney technicians would be happy to come out for a no-cost assessment of your chimney. If the need for a cap is determined, we can typically install a stainless steel cap the same day. We also have a range of specialty caps that may be ordered for your chimney.