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Feelings of fall are already entering the air, and the few crisp, cool days we’ve got to experience have given a clear indication what to expect in the upcoming weeks and months. Before you know it, we’ll all be sporting our favorite hoodies, sipping on those refreshing pumpkin-flavored drinks, and enjoying countless evenings in front of our warm, cozy fireplace. (That is, if you got your annual inspection on the books in time.)

The CSIA recommends annual inspections because it allows sweeps the opportunity to spot any damages that could bring you harm while operating your system. They will be able to look for clogs and obstructions, as well as harmful creosote accumulation, which is known for causing chimney fires. All in all, your risk of smoke and gas exposure, as well as house fires, will minimize significantly if you have things professionally inspected.

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If you haven’t gotten your inspection done yet this year and fear that damages might have occurred since the last time you, there are some things that you, as a homeowner, can keep an eye out for to know if bigger issues are at hand. Check them out now, and please feel free to contact the Ashbusters team with any questions – we’re here for you through it all!

On The Outside

  1. Growth Coming Out Of The Chimney. If you notice leaves, moss, or even small trees coming out of your flue, then this is a big indication that you not only have blockages, but cracks and other openings, as well. Any damage throughout your structure gives smoke, fumes, and flames clear pathways to the rest of your home, putting you and your loved ones at serious risk. Avoid any stress and injury by getting a qualified sweep on the job right away.
  2. Discoloration. From excess creosote to too much moisture in the flue to mold accumulation and more, any signs of discoloration is an indication that some professional attention is needed. Homeowners have noticed stains that are black, brown, green, red, and even white! No matter what you find yourself looking at, any discoloration means that the chimney shouldn’t be put to use until you are given the okay by an expert.
  3. Signs Of Moisture. Moisture and masonry don’t go well together, and keeping water away from your structure is a must when it comes to its ability to stand tall and strong for many years to come. When it comes to water-related damages, there are lots of things you can look out for. Some include: rusted metal components, rotted woodwork, stains on your walls and ceiling, deterioration and decay, crumbling mortar and brickwork, and an overall tilt to your structure. Basically, if anything looks suspicious, call us in – it’s not worth taking any chances.

On The Inside

1. Rainy Or Damp Smells. As with the outside of your chimney, signs of water damage should always be taken seriously. If your system smells moldy, rainy, or damp, get an expert in right away to look things over. There’s a good chance water is simply getting in too easily, and they can make repairs and add replacement parts (like a chimney cap), as necessary.

2. You Hear Animal Noises. Hear chirping in your flue? Or maybe it sounds like something is scampering around on your chimney shelf? Animals in your chimney cause all kinds of problems, such as clogging things up, leaving behind harmful (and bad smelling) feces, and their presence can negatively impact the air that you’re breathing, too. If animals are present, have them removed as soon as you can!

3. Signs Of Water. A lot of the signs of moisture on the outside of your system can be applied to the inside, as well. Any indication of deterioration, decay, rot, rust, mold, or water stains means it’s time to call in a certified team of sweeps. You’ll also want to be watchful for actual pools of water inside of your firebox (a clear indication that a new cap or chase cover is in order).

Which Signs Are The Most Urgent To Address?

So, of all these signs, which stands out the most as being the top priority to address before fall arrives? The simple answer is that there isn’t an answer! All of these issues are threatening in a different way and, honestly, none outweigh the other. Clogs can lead to house fires and smoke back-up, moisture can lead to harmful mold growth, and animals throughout the system can seriously impact your indoor air quality. Not to mention, all of these things can cause cracking and crumbling, which means carbon monoxide, flames, and other harmful gases can easily creep into your home.

If you feel any concerns regarding the state of your chimney, then it’s time to call us in now, so you are all set and ready to light fires when fall temperatures officially arrive. Or, if you need to get that inspection or sweeping on the books, we’re here for that, too! Call today to set something up with our CSIA certified team.