After a long, cold, rainy winter, you’re ready for spring, and you know it’s time for spring cleaning, and that includes your fireplace and chimney. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we get lots and lots of rain, even during the fall and winter, and this means possible water leaks, a major source of headaches when it comes to chimney repairs. So, spring chimney cleaning can entail a lot of tasks, but Pristine Sweeps compiled a simple checklist for your chimney that can be easily accomplished.
Causing possibly hundreds to thousands of dollars in chimney damage repair, water leaks are a chimney’s worst enemy. Although generally by the flashing, they can be hard to locate, so call us at Pristine Sweeps to schedule a professional leak inspection. However, there are signs of water leaks that you should always be keeping an eye out for:
- patchy, white spots
- plants growing in cracks in the mortar
- cracking and crumbling in the bricks and/or mortar
- rusty stains
- brick discoloration
- water in the fireplace
- damp odors
DAMPER AND CHIMNEY CAP REPAIR
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, the efficiency of these two parts of your chimney is crucial to saving energy and money, as well as keeping water leaks out, over the spring and summer months. If your damper is stuck open, it is the same thing as leaving a window in your house open; cold air escapes, bugs get in, the rain pours into your house, etc. If the damper is stuck closed, you cannot start a fire because your flue is closed-off and unable to filter smoke and gases. Similarly, your chimney cap fitting correctly on the top of your chimney is very important because not only does it also keep rain out of your chimney, but it prevents stray animals from setting up home there.
MASONRY FIREPLACE REPAIR
These classic chimneys are a bit more elaborate and require different types of maintenance, but Pristine Sweeps specializes in masonry chimneys and is ready to help you check these jobs off your checklist:
- crown repair – Your crown is the chimney cap of your masonry chimney.
- repointing/tuckpointing/spalling – When the bricks and mortar of your chimney are crumbling and falling apart due to deteriorating joints from water damage, we can repair (or rebuild, if necessary) your chimney using these techniques.
- firebox repair – An essential role in the safety of your fireplace and chimney, your firebox should never be cracked or rusted. It needs to be in good working condition so that it can contain all of the heat safely.
- smoke chamber restoration – Connecting the throat of your chimney to the flue, a properly working smoke chamber ushers out smoke from your home. If there are any problems with the construction of your smoke chamber, you can have issues with toxic smoke fumes entering your home.
- throat repair – Just like the smoke chamber, the throat is important as it works to get smoke out of your house, and because it sits right above your firebox, the high temperatures can cause cracking and other damage, allowing smoke to escape into your home.
ANNUAL CHIMNEY SWEEP AND INSPECTION
The spring is an excellent time to make your appointment for your annual professional chimney cleaning and inspection, and this step could be the only task you have to make this season. At Pristine Sweeps, our chimney sweeps include a Level 1 inspection with a video scan that allows us to spot things that are not visible to the naked eye, giving us the best view possible of the inside of your chimney. During our chimney sweep, we will be able to inspect all of the tasks on this checklist, so be proactive with your spring chimney checklist and contact us for an appointment today for your annual chimney sweep and inspection.