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Chimney Checklist for Spring

Spring: A Fresh Start for Your Chimney

You’ve done an excellent job in taking good care of your chimney during winter, but no matter how cautious you’ve been, there might still be things that happen inside the chimney that are just beyond your control. Winter might have left some damages behind that need to be inspected and fixed and have to be attended to right away. Our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweeps from Weststar Chimney Sweeps would like to put your mind at ease.

Chimney cleanings and inspections are not DIY projects. Let the certified professionals put your fears to rest.

Chimney cleanings and inspections are not DIY projects. Let the certified professionals put your fears to rest.

Parts & Systems

There are certain parts of the chimney which are vital in directing the smoke out the right way; parts like the:

  • Flue
  • Flue liner
  • Damper
  • Smoke Chamber

These parts help create draft inside the chimney. However, these are also the parts that are most prone to creosote buildup or other obstructions making it harder for smoke to go out. This opens doors to a lot of problems that will not only cost thousands in repairs, but may even cost you something more valuable—your health or even your life.

What to do

To prevent objects from entering the chimney, it’s best to have a chimney cap installed so that the inside of your chimney is protected from all the dangers that the outside world can bring. Some examples are animals, debris, spider webs and leaves.

Then there is water. This is one of the things chimneys hate the most because it destroys it—the performance and the structure. It can cause the brick walls to deteriorate. This problem can be prevented by waterproofing the chimney and repairing the flashing. We also make it a point to include the chimney crown in the inspection and repairs because when it is cracked, this can also be another entry point for water. These measures will help prolong the life of your chimney.

Even if you don’t use your chimney during spring, it’s best to keep animals and water out. Remember, it’s not just to prepare for the next winter season, we want to make sure that your chimney continues to be efficient for many years to come. Let us help keep your heating system in tip-top shape.

Stinky Fireplace

Your home is a gathering place for your family and friends to come together as one, but what do you do when there is an odor filling the home that you just can not get rid of?   When you realize it is your chimney making this smell, air fresheners and candles will not be enough.  Although some odors are normal, there are others that indicate a serious problem with your draft. That is when you call in the professionals at Weststar Chimney Sweeps.

If your damper is open when you light the fire and you still have odor, it is time to have your chimney cleaned and inspected.

If your damper is open when you light the fire and you still have odor, it is time to have your chimney cleaned and inspected.

The first thing an inspector will ask is when you had your last chimney sweep.  One of the most common causes for chimney odor is the build-up of creosotes inside the chimney.  The resulting smell is usually worse in the summer due to an increased humidity, when it rains, or when the air conditioner is running inside of the home.  An experienced professional can have the job done quickly without any mess inside of your home.  While this will help relieve most of the odors, it will not eliminate all of them.  The longer creosotes sit in the chimney, the deeper they sink into the construction of the chimney.  One way smells are allowed in you home is the air pressure that forces them inside.  When the air pressure is changed the smell will become more or less apparent.  Old parts or damper and exhaust vent closures can cause this as well as new equipment such as a furnace or water heater, or new windows.

There are ways to fix the negative air brought in by your chimney and if one method does not, you may need to do a combination of things.  First, if your fire damper s not in use, you should keep it closed.  Unless there is a problem with the seal, this should solve you problem.  Also, some people recommend having a glass screen installed so that air cannot pass through into the home.  Lastly, if you have other appliances running in the home change their airflow, as they all will be working against each other.  These tips should not only get rid of the odor, but also keep your name clear of the stinky homeowners list.