Common Summer Chimney Issues
With its proximity to the Atlantic Coast, the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) & South Carolina Midlands region has a sub-tropical climate with approximately 50 inches of annual rainfall. Our hot and humid summers also bring heavy rain, thunderstorms, and even lightning that can cause interior and exterior chimney damage.
For residents in Montgomery, GA, Hilton Head, SC, and other coastal communities, the salty air can accelerate masonry damage and lead to corrosion. Having your chimney inspected and cleaned annually by a Certified Chimney Professional® is an essential component of chimney maintenance and repair. It will also help you avoid these five common summer chimney issues:
The bricks or stones of masonry chimneys are porous materials making them susceptible to cracking, chipping, crumbling, and mortar decay when absorbing moisture. Frequent and heavy summer rain can leak through these hairline cracks. It can cause extensive water damage to the interior masonry, flue liner, and other structural components. Efflorescence or white stains across one or more sections of the exterior masonry is often the first indication that bricks and mortar are absorbing moisture. After making any required masonry repairs, our chimney professional can apply a waterproof sealant formulated explicitly for masonry chimneys to protect the structure from future water damage.
it is not uncommon for chimneys to wreak musty or other foul odors if they haven’t been swept in a while. During the warmer summer months, the humid conditions inside the chimney amplify odors from decomposing organic matter in the flue like creosote, soot, debris, or small animals trapped inside the vent. It can even promote the growth of mold and mildew, especially when there are water leaks.
Water leaks due to masonry damage, cracked chimney crown, or damaged or missing chimney cap can cause the metal or iron damper to rust. When the damper is rusting, it is more challenging to operate. In addition, it may not close completely, allowing the outside air to mix with the conditioned indoor air, increasing summer cooling costs. It also allows rain to leak into the fireplace, damaging the firebox.
Tropical Storms & Lightning Strikes
In Georgia and South Carolina, summer weather can be unpredictable, but you can expect periods of heavy rain. During hurricane season, from June through November, there is also a chance that tropical storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes that produce prolonged periods of heavy rain and high winds can impact our area, increasing the risk of chimney damage. Lightning from thunderstorms can also strike your chimney, resulting in structural damage. It can also ignite the creosote and cause a fire.
Animal intrusion is as much of a problem during the summer as during the winter. It is common for surrounding wildlife like small birds, snakes, and squirrels, to take up residence inside your chimney. These critters can climb the chimney and enter through a broken or missing chimney cap or a small gap in the crown or masonry. In addition, the nests these critters build may obstruct the venting of smoke and fumes that can cause a dangerous backdraft when you light the fireplace for the first time during the next cold spell.
Savannah Chimney Inspections
Summer is the perfect time of year for routine chimney maintenance. Advanced Chimney Sweep provides certified chimney inspections, cleaning, and repairs at affordable prices in Augusta, GA, Wilmington Island, GA, Hardeeville, SC, and communities throughout the CSRA and South Carolina Midlands. Call (706) 833-4630 or (803) 508-3990 to schedule an appointment or contact a technician using our online form today!