While everyone knows the importance of annual and timely chimney cleaning, sticking to a regular summer schedule is not always possible. This is the ideal time to call a chimney sweep, and this allows plenty of time not just for a thorough check, but also repairs. If at the end of summer you find that you have not gotten that important check, here are a few things you should make it a point to do.

  • Smell the fireplace. A bad odor from the fireplace usually points to a neglected chimney. It is usually the result of moisture reaching the creosote inside the chimney. After a cleaning, the smell should go away. If it remains, there is a possibility that a small animal or bird died inside the chimney.
  • Look for spalling. Weather exposure is hard on the surface of the chimney. The freezing and thawing of water causes the masonry to flake off. This will cause the chimney to absorb more water if the problem is not addressed. This type of damage is easy to see so you will find it with a quick inspection.
  • Check for leaks. Check the interior of the home for water spots. Prime areas are the ceilings and the attic. If these spots are damp, the most likely reason is deterioration of the chimney flashing. This can lead to extensive damage in the home if you overlook or ignore it.
  • Schedule for fall. Don’t panic if you miss out on a summer cleaning appointment, as many chimney sweeps will visit in the fall season. It may be more difficult to get an early appointment, but this no reason to have an unqualified person deal with the chimney.

If you have no problem with going up on your roof, take a few minutes to look at your chimney. Make sure that the chimney crown is not rusting and that there are no cracks. Weather exposure can lead to crown deterioration making it easier for rainwater to get inside. This can only affect the home; it can cause rusting of the chimney damper.

Summer is typically chimney maintenance season, but you might not be able to get this done every year. Be warned that late year inspections and cleaning may cost a bit more and it is often difficult to get the appointment time you want due to the number of people booking appointments.

The chimney sweeps here at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service are CSIA Certified and we have years of experience under our belts. We strive to continue our education as often as possible so we’re always in the position to offer you the best possible chimney services in Drexel Hill and all along the Main Line. Call us at 610-626-2439 to discuss your chimney needs or to schedule an appointment for a chimney cleaning, chimney inspection, or chimney repair.