How to Prepare Your Chimney for Summer

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We’ve written several blogs on how to prepare your chimney and fireplace for winter, including a quick 10 steps style preparation article. But today we’re going to focus on preparing your fireplace and chimney for summer. Call us if you’re ready to put your fireplace and chimney to rest for the remainder of the summer. We’ll clean and inspect them to make sure everything is ready for the well-deserved break.

Many homeowners believe that the only real worry for the chimney is the freeze-thaw cycle of winter. But water damage begins before the cool winds begin to blow. Water seeps into the brick and mortar year-round, especially during spring and summer. We see some pretty serious thunderstorms here in Drexel Hill and along the Main Line during the summer months.

Here’s how to prepare your chimney for summer. Start at the top!

  • Examine the chimney cap to make sure it isn’t damaged. Replace a damaged chimney cap with a new one. The cap is responsible for keeping small animals and birds out of the chimney. Remember our previous story about the raccoon?
  • Examine the chimney crown. The crown should extend just past the outer edges of the chimney and the surface of the crown should decline slightly so that water runs away from the flue, not toward it.
  • Replace caulk on the flashing if it’s damaged or missing. Replace the flashing if there are obvious rust spots. The flashing is designed to keep water from penetrating the area where the chimney goes into the roof. Any cracks or holes in the flashing puts your roof at risk for water damage.
  • Waterproof the chimney. Water is your chimney’s primary enemy. It causes problems during the summer as well as the winter months. The only thing winter has that summer doesn’t is the freeze-thaw cycle. Water erodes the masonry and may cause your chimney to require tuckpointing or some other repair before it begins to crack. Waterproofing the chimney before summertime thunderstorms hit helps protect it for 3 to 5 years at a time and is well worth the minimal investment.

You can take on most of these projects as a DIY project. Many homeowners prefer to repair things like this on their own to save money and learn more about their home in the process. Remember, we’re only a phone call away if you prefer to hire a professional chimney service for these tasks. We’ll finish up with a chimney inspection to ensure that your chimney is ready for the long sleep of summer.

Our chimney services extend well beyond Drexel Hill and into most townships, towns, and cities along the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule a consultation, chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, or dryer vent cleaning.

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