Now that it’s summer and you’re enjoying the exterior living space of your home, it may be difficult to think of the winter months ahead. But did you know that the summer months are the best time to schedule home winterizations, including your annual chimney sweep? There are a number of issues which may arise during the warmer months of spring and summer which may adversely affect the safety of your family. Hiring a certified technician to inspect and sweep your chimney will assist in the prevention of house fires, and ensure that your fireplace is a relaxing and enjoying focal point this fall.
Animals in your chimney
If you’re like most Americans, your fireplace is the heart of family gatherings and celebrations. Whether winter or summer, your mantel is adorned with family pictures and holiday cards, and a crackling fire lends a sense of comfort to the atmosphere. Unfortunately, squirrels, birds and even snakes will find your chimney equally enticing. During the spring and summer months, animals may nest in your chimney, but it’s possible that they’ll be unable to get out. While calling animal control for more obvious infestations may be necessary, a chimney sweep can find early signs of nesting and alert you to any necessary fix. As if the infestation of your chimney weren’t unpleasant enough, the smell and potential presence of maggots will lead to quite a troublesome experience if the animals die. In addition to cleaning services, some technicians will be equipped to install chimney guards on your chimney, preventing the entrance of these animals.
Ragweed, pollen and dust which are present in the summer are allergens for many. In the South, we experience a sometimes weeks long dusting of yellow pine pollen which accumulates on our cars, our streets and, yes, in our chimneys, too. The weeks following this period of time are a great opportunity to clean your chimney, and to remove these irritants from your home. Other allergens may include the soot from your wood burning fireplace, which has been proven to exacerbate asthma and other respiratory ailments. Pollutants, in addition to creosote and other hazards, can be identified and removed by your technician.
Unfortunately, the South is likely to experience drastic fluctuations in temperature during the winter months. Sudden deep freezes can be followed by weeks of warm sunshine, and this has a tendency to cause structural damage to even the most well built homes. Having your chimney swept and inspected by a certified technician before the danger of freezing temperatures is imminent can allow for timely repair of any damage. Even if you’ve not experienced damage, routine upkeep of all chimney and ventilation components is best performed during the summer months, such as liner and insulation replacement. Appointments are more readily scheduled, and the safety conditions for the technician are improved greatly. Don’t wait until it’s imperative that you use your fireplace for heat. Have your chimney swept and repaired during the warmer season.
Whether you use your fireplace daily or simply as an attractive backdrop for family gatherings, it’s necessary to have it cleaned, inspected, and possibly repaired each year. Scheduling a certified technician is a maintenance task you perform every year; for optimal service, don’t hesitate. Have your chimney cleaned this summer.
Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps is CSIA certified and can inspect & sweep your chimney. Don’t wait until the first cold snap to have your chimney swept and inspected!