Chimney Care Checklist - Elkton MD - Ace Chimney Sweeps

As much as you have enjoyed your fireplace over the winter for its warmth and coziness, you’re ready for spring, and it’s time to get your chimney ready for the season as well. Proper chimney maintenance during the off-season will allow you to get the maximum use out of your fireplace when you really need it, so you won’t have to worry about repairs or dangerous fires in the fall and winter months. Although spring cleaning can entail a lot of tasks, this checklist is easy to handle and simple to follow.

1. Check around the flashing on the roof by your chimney for any cracks or leaks.

This could be a sign that water is getting into your fireplace, and water in your fireplace can cause a lot of damage. Water can penetrate your chimney and create staining, destroy insulation, and cause structural damage by freezing and deteriorating within your chimney. You will definitely want to get any cracks or leaks in your flashing repaired by a professional chimney repairman.

2. Check the bricks of your chimney for any chips and breaks in the mortar and joints.

Like the flashing, this can be another sign that water is leaking into your chimney and entering your fireplace. This repair job can be a bit more involved than a typical flashing repair and may require a masonry re-sealing, particularly if you see white spots on your chimney. These are efflorescence, calcium-like deposits that tell you your masonry joints are not repelling water, but absorbing them…a bad sign that leads to costly water damage if it’s not corrected.

3. Look to see if any animals have nested in your chimney.

Animals need a warm place to go in the winter too, and unfortunately, sometimes they choose your home as that warm place. Contact a professional animal removal company to safely get the nest out of your chimney.

4. Most importantly, make an appointment for a chimney sweeping and a Level 1 inspection.

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, a homeowner should have his or her chimney swept and inspected every year at least once, and in the spring, at the end of the heating season, is the best time to make your appointment. This step on your spring checklist is the most important and can be the only step if needed when you call us at Ace Chimney Sweeps, as we will take care of the other tasks in our chimney sweeping service. Plan on at least an hour for the chimney sweeping and inspection. This process includes a high-powered industrial vacuuming of your fireplace and chimney, along with a Level 1 inspection to be sure everything is structurally sound within your chimney. We will also ensure your cap is installed securely on your flue, another must for the spring season.

Check off your spring cleaning list for your chimney today by giving us a call at Ace Chimney Sweeps to schedule a chimney sweeping, and we’ll be glad to help you keep your chimney well-maintained and safe.