10 Chimney Problems To Look Out For In Summer

You might think that a chimney won’t need any attention in the summer, however, there’s not a single season in which the chimney can’t have problems. So, don’t skip any chimney inspection. Here are some very common problems to occur in a chimney during the hot summer months.

Damage In The Structure

This doesn’t necessarily have to be impact damage, rather it’s just the withering away of the material after a couple of years have passed. Since your chimney is an outdoor structure, it can be really easy for it to get cracked and damaged and if you don’t do something about it right away, then it can lead to problems.

Summer is a great time to maintain your chimney because you don’t need to worry about cooling it down because handling a hot chimney is like waiting for an accident to happen. So, maintain it in the summer and you won’t have to deal with any issues. If there are cracks or deformities in the chimney, then you can hire a chimney professional and have them take a look at it.

Since you won’t be using it anytime soon, you can dedicate a lot of time to the repair because you want everything to be perfect and ready for the chilly weather. During that time, you can use the chimney to its full capacity.

A Weird Smell

A chimney doesn’t usually have a weird smell. No matter how much wood you burn in it, it won’t have a smell unless there’s something wrong with it. The worst part is that the smell can diffuse in the room and it can be really hard to get rid of that stench.

There can be a lot of reasons why chimneys stink. It can be because of soot and creosote that you haven’t cleaned or it can be because of bird droppings that lead to a very stinky smell in the chimney. It’s best that you get it cleaned before you need to use it for the winter again.


Creosote build-up is common to occur in the chimney. This mainly happens in wood-burning chimneys and it’s a blackish slippery residue that can stick to the walls of the chimney. This can hinder the performance of the heating and your chimney won’t be able to operate properly. This is why you need to get it cleaned.

Creosote is a huge fire hazard and it can jeopardize the safety of the people in the vicinity of the fireplace, so you must get it cleaned in the summertime. You can call in a chimney sweep service Ellicott City and they can deep clean the chimney. Some chimney services offer discounted prices in summer so take advantage of the discounts.

Uninvited Visitors

Your chimney can also become a place of refuge for small animals and birds. While they’re mostly harmless, you don’t want them to stay in there for long, because their residence can cause the chimney to choke and it can lead to a lot of issues, like a fire building up in the chimney, which is bad for you and the critters.

So, if there are any bird nests, raccoons, squirrels, or small birds and bats in your chimney, then you need to pry them out before they find their way into your home. It’s also important that you inspect the chimney before lighting up the fireplace, in case there is any animal in the chute.

Storm Damage

Winter and spring can also be the time when there are a lot of storms, heavy winds, and rains. While these incidents are inevitable, you need to ensure that, after a storm subsides, you go up and inspect the chimney.

Chances are that there will be a lot of damage to the chute of the chimney and in the worst case, you might need to get the chimney rebuilt, because the damage has caused the chimney to topple over the roof.

Chimney Leaks

Leaks in the chimney are really common, especially if there are cracks. The most obvious way by which you can identify leaks in a chimney is to look at the fireplace and see if there are any puddles of water inside. You can also keep your ears peeled and detect any dripping noises coming from the fireplace.

Cracks can also lead to larger damage, as they can deepen as the weather gets warmer and it can turn into a disaster if you don’t do something about it right away. So, always be on high alert when you see cracks in the chimney.

Impact Damage

Impact damage can be related to weather but it’s a higher degree of damage, especially when there are huge gusts of winds that are toppling things over. If you have large trees near the roof of your house, then you need to be extremely careful, during a storm, because if the tree is on the verge of falling, then it can cause the chimney to get severely damaged too. Not only this, your roof might also take the brunt of this fall.

So, if there is a tree that is holding onto its last thread, then you need to ensure that you’re cutting it down, especially before a storm, and if your chimney is damaged, then get it repaired ASAP.

Chimney Liner Damage

Summer is the perfect time to get your chimney inspected because the liner can be damaged from the high fire temperature too. The liner is the part of the chimney that holds the fire and ejects the smoke from the top, so it needs to be in good condition.

You need to get the chimney inspected from time to time if you don’t want any irreversible problems shortly because detecting liner damage can be hard.

Spalling Bricks

Spalling is the chipping and flaking away of the bricks. Chimneys are usually made out of bricks and mortar, so there is a huge possibility that the weather can spall the bricks and weaken the chimney. This is inevitable, but you can reverse the damage, by inspecting it timely and getting it fixed.

Spalling bricks can lead to cracks in no time and this can really make the chimney a hazard for the people living in the house, so don’t let the chimney get too damaged before it becomes irreparable for good.

Choked Chimney

When you burn wood in a fireplace, it can lead to carbon monoxide production. If the chute is clear and there are no blockages, then the gasses can safely eject from the top. However, simple things like creosote build-up and even bird nests can cause the chimney to get choked and the odorless and colorless gas can start to accumulate in your room.

This is a huge hazard, and the worst part is that you don’t even know that it is happening, so the best thing to do is to ensure that the chimney isn’t choked or blocked by anything.


Even though you’re not actively using your chimney, that still doesn’t mean that you don’t have to maintain it. Taking care of these problems now will ensure that your chimney works smoothly during the chilly winter. So, hire chimney contractors Columbia MD for an inspection.

Categories:   Home Improvement