Spring is here and everyone is so relieved to shed the nasty winter weather in favor of sunshine and mild temperatures. Now is the time to tackle those spring cleaning checklists and enjoy some time outdoors with friends and family. But have you stopped to think about your poor chimney? Your chimney has been exposed to the harsh elements all winter long! The lasting effects of the long winter we have just endured make a chimney inspection long overdue. There are many factors that affect a chimney structure, let’s take a look at a few of them.
It was a wet winter. Ice, rain and snow took its toll on Kansas and all of that weather can affect your chimney. If your chimney was not properly capped during winter, a lot of that snow and ice could have fallen inside your chimney causing moisture damage. Not only will that affect the actual masonry of your chimney, but it could make lighting fires in the future much more difficult.
Water doesn’t have to fall into your chimney to cause water damage. The mortar, or cement mixture between each brick is often more porous than the bricks themselves. When winter brings wet weather, all of that moisture can seep into the mortar and cause a lot of damage. Common damage from moisture includes:
- Cracked or missing mortar
- Cracked bricks
- Crumbling masonry work
- Shifted chimneys
Another major factor of winter damage includes debris. If your chimney was not capped during winter, even the smallest opening in your chimney can make it susceptible to debris like leaves and sticks falling into your structure. External elements like leaves, grass and sticks are flammable and if not removed can pose a serious problem to your chimney.
On the other hand, many critters like mice, rats and birds love to find warm and dry places to call home during the unforgiving winter months. Pests can make nests in your chimney, which is inhumane should they get stuck inside, but can also be very damaging to your chimney.
Your chimney has been exposed to all these elements all winter long, with little to no maintenance. We use our chimneys all winter, and because chimneys are often out of sight, they often go ignored. Don’t abandon your chimney. Many government agencies recommend a thorough chimney inspection and sweeping to keep your chimney in safe working order and spring or summer is the perfect time to schedule this simple home maintenance.
Home Safe Hearth & Chimney in Wichita is your best bet for chimney inspection, sweeping and chimney repairs. If you suspect your chimney has endured damage this winter don’t call a roofer. Instead, call your one-stop chimney shop with CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps that will complete a thorough inspection and sweeping. Our chimney technicians will also recommend and execute any necessary repairs to your chimney. Don’t ignore your chimney this spring and summer, after it has endured the long winter months. Trust the experts at Home Safe Hearth & Chimney to keep your chimney operating safely all year long.