When warm spring weather finally arrives, many homeowners are content to stop using – and thinking – about their fireplaces until they need them again in the fall. However, instead of letting them wait until then to be serviced, homeowners should have their chimneys cleaned in the springtime.
After using your fireplace all winter, have it cleaned in the spring. Having your chimney swept now means that it will be ready for use again as soon as the fall’s first cold snap hits, and is one less maintenance item to worry about this year.
Winter water damage to your chimney
The combination of cold temperatures and moisture such as freezing rain and snow can have a negative impact on your chimney system. The most common cause of chimney damage in the winter is caused by the freeze thaw process. When this occurs, water in the bricks freezes and expands, creating larger and larger cracks and holes that may eventually cause the bricks to crack and fall away.
Chimney systems can be damaged by any amount of water entry, not just in the winter. Chimney leaks from damaged flashing, chimney caps, or chimney crowns can damage the masonry and interior portions of your fireplace and chimney and should be repaired as soon as possible.
The importance of yearly chimney cleanings
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that homeowners have their chimneys swept at least once per year. National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 also states that, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”
Chimney cleanings are a great way to guarantee the health and safety of your family. In addition to removing creosote and other chimney blockages, chimney sweeps will also check for any damage that may impact the safety or efficiency of your fireplace. Even homeowners with gas appliances should consider having an annual inspection to ensure their appliances are venting properly and the chimneys have not been damaged.
Having your chimney cleaned and inspected each year allows any emerging problems to be found and repaired before they turn in to major – and costly – issues. Likewise, annual chimney cleanings are an excellent time to have other kids of preventative maintenance – such as waterproofing – done to your chimney.
Why spring is a great time for chimney maintenance
Chimneys are used the most during the months of fall and winter. Because of this, by the time spring rolls around they often have large amounts of creosote, soot, ash, or other debris in the chimney structure. Cleaning your chimney directly following its period of heaviest use makes the creosote or other chimney blockages easier to remove.
In addition, spring is the best time of year to have masonry or other major repairs completed on your chimney. The mild temperatures and weather allow work to be completed in a timelier manner as there are far fewer weather related delays.
Make getting your chimney swept and inspected a regular part of your spring cleaning maintenance routine. Contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today to schedule your chimney sweep appointment!