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Start Spring Cleaning Off Right

While you’re organizing your Spring Cleaning to-do list, you should remember your chimney along with all your other home maintenance. Your chimney has been working for you all winter long, maybe daily, and it needs some attention.

What You Can Do

First, you should clean the surfaces of the hearth and close off the chimney when you’re finished with it for the season. By closing the damper you can save yourself in air conditioning costs this summer. You can also prevent foul odors from soot and humidity from entering your home while you wait for your appointment. As soon as you are able you should schedule an appointment with a professional chimney sweep company.Start Spring Cleaning Off Right Image - Seattle WA - Pristine Sweeps, LLC

Choosing the Right Chimney Sweep Company

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend annual maintenance including regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections. Scheduling your inspection in the spring means that you can catch any winter damage before it is made worse by water penetration and summer humidity. While looking for a chimney sweep company to assess and clean your chimney system, look for one who is familiar with the area’s climate, common chimney damages, repairs, and local regulations.

Make Necessary Repairs Now

Your chimney expert may find chimney damages or possible problems that can be dealth with right away. Schedule your chimney repairs now so that spring showers aren’t able to worsen the damage. Also, making repairs now means that your chimney will be ready to use when cool weather comes in the fall. A common mistake homeowners make is putting off routine maintenance and repairs until fall. This is often called the “fall rush” because it’s the period at the start of burn season when chimney sweeps are busy getting chimneys ready for winter. During this time it can be difficult to get the appointment time you need and you may even be forced to use a chimney sweep you aren’t happy with in order to get the work completed. It’s best to plan ahead.

Closing Out Your Chimney for the Off-Season

If you have already had your chimney inspection for the year, you can still have your chimney swept before closing it out for the summer. Many homeowners schedule a chimney sweep in the spring because a dirty chimney can become stinky when temperatures warm up. Soot and creosote can become pungent when it mingles with moisture. Even if your chimney doesn’t have a leak, the natural humidity of summer will permeate the whole chimney system and create these odors. Once your chimney is swept you can close the damper to save on utilities. If you have a top-sealing damper you can close off your chimney system with an air-tight seal from the top, preventing water penetration, drafts, and animal intrusion.

When you’re ready to close out your chimney for the spring, a chimney expert from Pristine Sweeps can help you remember every step. It’s always our goal for our customers to be safe and comfortable year-round. Call Pristine Sweeps at 206-574-8414 and schedule your appointment today.

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Fix Winter Masonry Damage

Winter Masonry Repair Photo - Seattle WA - Pristine SweepsWhen winter snow and ice begin to melt and winter weather turns to spring, it can be hard to detect winter damage. Most of the chimney system is hidden, especially to the untrained eye, so unless there are noticeable changes to the system. The best way to diagnose winter damage is to schedule your annual CSIA chimney inspection now. Only a certified chimney expert knows the signs of winter damage, is familiar with the Seattle climate, and knows when best to makes repairs before they become a problem.

Common Winter Damage

At Pristine Sweeps our technicians often diagnose winter damage that ranges from minor, seemingly cosmetic damage like staining, to serious structural damage like spalling and deterioration.

Spalling Masonry

When water penetrates the masonry during winter it undergoes a process called the freeze/thaw cycle, resulting in serious damage. First,the water penetrates the masonry and freezes, causing it to expand and damage the bricks and mortar. It then thaws, moving further into the damaged masonry and repeats the process. This type of water damage should be repaired before spring rains and summer humidity appear. Pristine Sweeps repairs spalling chimneys through a process called tuckpointing in which a certified expert removes mortar and bricks piece by piece and replaces it with new mortar of equal consistency, strength, and color. Pristine Sweeps specialize in masonry repair and all of our masonry work is backed by a five year labor warranty.

Damaged Cap or Crown

Serious snow accumulation can take a chimney crown from a tiny crack to a gaping hole during a full winter of freezing temperatures. A chimney cap, however, when installed correctly should withstand normal winter weather, but sometimes animals and high winds can loosen the caps, causing leaks and winter damage. Pristine Sweeps offers chimney cap repairs and installation that can return your chimney to full protection from weather and wildlife.

Chimney Leaks

Many issues with the chimney can result in chimney leaks. Leaks are best avoided because they don’t only damage your chimney, but can also stain, rust, weaken, and damage materials in your home including ceilings, walls, floors, coverings, and more. A chimney expert from Pristine Sweeps is able to diagnose and repair damage from chimney leaks, but also correct the problem that made the leak possible. The last step to chimney leak repair is to waterproof the chimney to avoid an occurrence later. This is a simple preventative measure that can save homeowners substantially in the future.

The best way to diagnose and repair chimney leaks is to have the chimney inspected at the end of winter. This gives you ample time to make repairs before burning season returns in the fall, and means you can spend the summer knowing that your chimney is taken care of.

Call Pristine Sweeps today at 206-574-8414 and have your chimney assessed for winter damage.

By Aaron Woodward | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment