The summer offers a chance to tend to chimney matters that can’t be addressed when smoke is pouring out of it — namely, in the colder months.
Let’s discuss summer chimney issues, as well as maintenance and repair opportunities the summer provides.
Odor, for example, is often a noticeable summer issue. “Noticeable” is the operative word here. When you are not building fires, air may be coming down the chimney, instead of going up and out. You may need to open a window in the same room or seal off the top of the chimney in the summer.
Instead of merely guessing about the causes of chimney odor, or its solution, call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney. A careful summertime inspection by one of our qualified professionals is a sensible first step in addressing chimney odor control.
When odors are coming from your chimney and your fireplace, the smell likely derives from creosote deposits in the chimney. The unpleasant “fragrance” tends to be worse in the summer. High humidity exacerbates the problem; plus, windows are usually closed as the air conditioner does its work.
What to do?
A good sweeping is advised, but it may not solve the problem. Chimney deodorants may offer some relief. Lots of folks find that baking soda or kitty litter placed in the fireplace is effective.
Northeastern Masonry & Chimney suggests you treat the underlying cause during the summer. The root cause is most likely air being drawn down the chimney. This indicates pressure problems in the house. Makeup air should be introduced somewhere else in the house. Another solution is a tight-sealing, top-mounted damper. This reduces airflow coming down the chimney.
Summer is also a wise time to check various elements of the chimney, for example, chimney crowns. Crowns are both functional and beautiful – if properly designed and built. But the untrained eye won’t necessarily detect the crown cracks that are the warning sign of leaks to come. Repairing your chimney crown in these summer months makes sense from a practical and logistical standpoint. It’s simply an easier work environment for our experienced masons and technicians. Moreover, summer conditions facilitate sealing and setting. It’s the optimum time for repairing or rebuilding your chimney crown.
Although it’s not a chimney matter per se, firewood can also be a summer issue. It’s not too early to start seasoning your firewood. If anything, it’s too late. Allow yourself a year, ideally, to allow proper seasoning for your firewood.
Summertime is ideal for evaluating whether the flue is cracked or blocked. It’s also an opportunity to look for any buildup affecting airflow — critters, vegetation, leaves, old nests. Clearing away this stuff reduces risks of fire or noxious fumes.
It’s a good time to inspect mortar or brickwork for damage or deterioration. Masonry repairs are easier in summer than in winter.
Give Us a Call
Northeastern Masonry & Chimney employs CSIA-trained professionals all year round, not just in the summer. If you live in the Capital District, Central or Northern New York, the Hudson Valley or western Massachusetts, call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney today at 518-767-9315. Or schedule a summertime appointment online.