Common Summer Chimney Issues
After a long winter, many folks look forward to spending the summer enjoying Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and other outdoor recreation spots in the Greater Buffalo and Rochester area. Although you’re not using the fireplace or heating stove in the summer, your chimney is not out of the woods. Here are five common chimney issues to watch for during the summer:
When the masonry absorbs moisture, the salt deposits in the clay or shale material in the bricks are drawn to the surface, leaving a white stain when the surface dries. This white staining, known as efflorescence, may only appear on one side of the chimney that is exposed to the most moisture. You may also notice orange stains dripping down the sides of the chimney after it rains due to a rusty chimney cap or chase cover. If not corrected, efflorescence and other chimney stains can lead to masonry damage.
Water leaks are another common summer chimney issue. Wind, hail, and lightning can damage the masonry, flue liner, chimney cap, and chimney crown that can cause water to leak inside the chimney and fireplace. Heavy rain, hail, and summer heat in the Buffalo-Rochester area can also damage the flashing and rainwater will leak through the gap between the chimney and roof. It can also cause water damage to the attic, roof, ceiling, and walls around the fireplace.
Our hot and humid summer weather often kickstarts unpleasant chimney and fireplace odors. The oxidization of creosote, soot, debris, and organic matter accumulating in the chimney from the winter releases the odor into the air, which can cause a foul smell throughout your house. Your chimney may need a thorough professional cleaning to get rid of the odor, but it can also be a sign of a leaky chimney.
It is not uncommon for small birds and wildlife to find their way into your chimney during the summer. They usually gain entry through a broken or missing chimney cap or gaps in the masonry and chimney crown. While inside, they build nests, store food, give birth to their young, and create a mess inside the chimney. They also attract other pests, including roaches, insects, mice, and rats that may make their way into your home through the fireplace.
Humidity and moisture or condensation in the flue are the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow inside the chimney. Mold spores multiply rapidly and spread through your ventilation system to other areas of the home, requiring the replacement of portions of your walls, flooring, and ceiling. While not all mold is toxic, it can cause respiratory problems and other health issues.
Summer Chimney Inspection, Cleaning, & Repair Services
The summer is generally the slow season for chimney professionals, making it a great time to get your annual inspection, cleaning, and any necessary repairs out of the way before colder weather arrives again.
Call (716) 452-9156 or (585) 684-7197 to schedule your summer chimney inspection today! You can also contact us online.