Plenty of people who have a fireplace in their home arrange to have their chimney inspected annually, but unless you're arranging an inspector to assess the integrity of the chimney twice per year, you're not doing all that you can to ensure that it's in good repair. Chimney fires are a grave concern for homeowners because they can occur without your initial knowledge — and by the time you're alerted to the issue, the blaze could spread to your roof and actually engulf your house. Having two annual inspections allows your chimney professional to catch an issue and repair it before it gets serious. Here are some reasons that inspections in the fall and again in the spring are a good idea.
Presence Of Animal Debris
When fall arrives and you begin to think about burning fires in your fireplace, it's likely been several months since you've lit the fireplace. Throughout the late spring and summer, and even as the weather has begun to get cool, it's possible that various animals have begun to prepare for winter in your chimney. It's common for birds to construct nests near the upper opening of the chimney, while squirrels may also stash twigs, leaves, and other debris in the chimney. A full blockage can push smoke back into your house and even catch fire, so it's important for a fall inspection.
Possibility Of Ice Damage
Either in the early fall or late in the spring, it's common for your chimney to get wet due to rain or melting snow. Normally, this isn't a big concern, but a flash freeze can be detrimental to the health of the chimney. When the temperature drops quickly, any residual water on the chimney will freeze rapidly, and the expansion that occurs during the freezing process can cause the mortar between the bricks to crack. You'll be unlikely to notice this issue yourself, which could result in a damaged chimney that requires repair. Inspections at each end of the cold season can catch this issue if it's present.
Problems with the cap on your chimney can occur at any time of the year. High winds in the fall or spring, for example, can potentially damage this cap or even knock it loose. Similarly, rapidly freezing water in the fall or the spring may damage the cap and affect its ability to do its job. Sometimes, you can tell when your chimney cap has a problem just by looking at it from your yard, but it's always better to arrange a professional inspection.
For more information, reach out to a chimney repair company.