Home Maintenance: Don’t Forget Your Chimney

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Chimneys are sometimes overlooked when planning regular home maintenance because they are rarely used. Most families tend to use the chimney when winter arrives, neglecting it for the rest of the year. Some homeowners probably believe that their chimneys are fine since they are only used for a couple of months each year. Some may do a simply cleaning the fireplace and think this is enough.

Unfortunately this is not always the case. Your chimney may not be in as good a shape as you might hope. The daily weather conditions cause wear and tear to the exterior of your chimney. If there is no cap on the top, it will also affect the interior as well.

Caring for the Exterior of Your Chimney

Cleaning the interior of your fireplace is not enough to keep the chimney intact. Even if you do not use the chimney at all, the exterior could still get damage due to the aging process. Ignoring the exterior of your chimney can lead to dire consequences. Minor cracks may appear in the chimney, if ignored these cracks can and will get worse over time. If these minor cracks are not dealt with when they appear, the chimney may eventually collapse or not work properly when you need to use it.

It is recommended that you inspect your chimney, especially after extreme weather. If cracks are seen in the chimney, if is best to call a chimney sweep to check and make the repairs to the chimney. If the cracks are really small, you can fix them yourself, especially if you discover this in the summer.

You can buy and apply a coat of chimney sealer and force it down into the cracks. After this coat has dried a second coat should be applied. After applying and left to dry the next step is to spray your chimney with water repellent spray. Two coats of this are also recommended. Next, you should ensure that a good chimney cap is in place. The cap is also recommended as it keeps water and insects from getting into the chimney and then into your home. The chimney cap also helps to extend your chimney’s life.

Caring for the Interior of Your Chimney

Taking care of the interior of the chimney and not just the fireplace is also important. If the inside of the chimney is not cleaned once or twice a year it can lead to smoke and tar build up. Always remember that creosote, a byproduct of wood-burning can be dangerous to your health. Only a professional chimney cleaning can protect against this happening.

Chimney maintenance should be carried out by a professional. Think of the chimney as a giant exhaust pipe, therefore, it should be cleaned and be seen as an essential part of maintenance. Chimney maintenance should be taken seriously.

The chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA Certified, and we participate in continued education throughout the year so that we’re always up to speed on the latest changes in our field. We’re located in Drexel Hill and provide all types of chimney services to homeowners and commercial property owners in the surrounding areas and along the Main Line. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 if you’re interested in scheduling an appointment for a consultation, a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, or dryer vent cleaning.

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