Have you ever thought about the best time of year is to get your fireplace cleaned? Dave and Janelle of Dave’s Chimney Service are asked that question all the time, so to educate the community on chimney maintenance, here are three things you should know to keep your chimney from failing – and then you will understand why a Certified Chimney Service is NOT seasonal.
It’s common knowledge that in Arkansas people don’t regularly use their fireplace to fully heat their home, and people often believe the only maintenance to a fireplace is to sweep your wood burning chimney flu. But there’s more to it. Regular maintenance is necessary to preserve your fireplace – and your home surrounding it.
1. All chimneys and fireplaces should be inspected. Going into the busy time of year for buying and selling real estate, you should always have a fireplace inspected by a professional before a major purchase. Not all fireplaces are maintained, and since many things can cause damage to a fireplace, you should never take someone’s word that there is a usable fireplace in the home.
Since a fireplace is built into the house, if it is completely beyond repair, you may find an astronomical cost that you didn’t expect, in order to use the unit for anything other than a faux décor cabinet. Some home inspectors will advise you to get a professional to inspect it, if they see something that could be questionable. Not all issues are visible to the eye of someone that doesn’t have years of experience and certification in the codes of that specialty. It is always in your best interest to do your due diligence!
2. No two fireplaces are the same. They can be wood burning, masonry, an insert, a gas log ventless unit without a chimney, zero clearance, or a pellet or wood stove that’s freestanding. Every one of these has different clearances to combustibles, and a certified chimney technician studies these details exclusively for their trade.
Some things are do-it-yourself, but building a fire in your house is a different story. Even a brand new home could have a fireplace that isn’t installed correctly and could be dangerous to use. If you are building, ask your builder to consult with a Certified Chimney Technician in the process. If you are buying a new construction, check it out during your warranty period before your burn season.
3. Spalling… What’s that? Go through an older area and look at the bricks on those chimneys. Masonry is porous. Each brick can hold as much as 3.5 cups of water at a time. When the temperature changes and the moisture in those bricks freeze, the facings of the bricks can pop right off from the expansion of the ice. This can’t be repaired, but can be prevented from further damage. That’s just one issue of a leaking chimney, and it’s not just masonry chimneys that leak.
Warning signs for a leaking chimney can include:
- Loss of mortar or brick facings.
- Plant material, moss, or mold growing on the rock or bricks.
- Water inside your fireplace.
- A musty fireplace smell when it rains.
- Water spots on your ceiling around your fireplace.
- Rust inside your firebox or your damper rusted in place.
All of these are great reasons to get your fireplace checked in the Spring and Summer. Dave’s Chimney Service also encourages you to get this done this time of year for several reasons. A lot of these repairs cannot be completed in the colder temperatures, and we know you want your fireplace usable when Arkansas weather changes quickly. A chimney can be swept at the end of a season to avoid the rush at the late fall/pre -holiday season. Sometimes parts can be hard to get in if they need to be ordered. After this season we all realized this across many industries.
And the biggest plus to getting your chimney cleaned in the spring and summer is Dave’s Chimney Service Spring Sweep Special! They do this to encourage homeowners to change your thinking about your regular chimney maintenance. They want you to be safe and knowledgeable about your fireplace.
Contact Dave’s Chimney Service, LLC – Text Janelle 501-260-3857. David Widel, CSIA #6819.