Some Summer Chimney Problems We Are Often Faced With
During the summer months when it gets hot as it has been just recently our telephone enquiries take on a different tone, with customers calling asking a totally different set of questions than they do in the winter months.
Birds Nests In Chimneys
Once Spring has sprung we obviously get more calls about birds nesting in chimneys and the noise and mess and worry that causes. Whilst we are happy to remove nests we will always wait until the young birds have fledged before we remove the nest itself. Things other than birds nest in chimneys, wasps and bees and worst of all squirrels.
Wasps, Bees and Squirrel Nests In Chimneys
If you find wasps in a chimney its usually better to wait until it gets colder when the wasps are all dead as they only use the nest once and it virtually made of paper it is easily removed. Bees on the other hand need to be removed by a bee keeper who will evacuate the whole colony prior to us getting at the nest, bees make honey and honey is sticky and it can be extremely messy to remove. Squirrels nests are the worst being very deep and compact, I have spent virtually a whole day removing just one single nest.
Other Summer Chimney Problems
Falling Debris In Chimneys
Customers also call with concerns about falling debris, usually caused in older properties when the old mortar lining within the flues start to dry out after a wet winter. Usually on flues which are seldom used during the winter months, sweeping these chimneys will help lessen the problem of falling debris and may save you from returning home to find your carpet covered in dust and soot.
Rooms Smelling Of Soot And Tar
Lastly, rooms smelling of soot and tar. This is caused by extreme hot weather which causes the flue to downdraught. All flues will smell of soot and tar but the way a chimney normally works means that these smells would go up the chimney flue and out through the top. Because of the downdraught they are suddenly pushed back down into the room.
Fixing Smells From The Chimney
The first job to do would be to sweep the chimney to remove as much of the smelly soot and tar as possible out. Then maybe consider other things which may help. Lighting candles in the fireplace may help to keep the flue warm enough to counteract the downdraught (but do not leave the candles alight and unattended). A strategically placed air freshener may help or on a wood burner or closed appliance close the air vents during the day, but open at night to encourage ventilation through the flue. Some metal flue liners need this ventilation to combat condensations so never seal the vents for any period of time, some scrunched up newspaper left in the appliance may help avoid condensation.
Please contact us if you’d like to discuss sorting out any of these summer chimney problems. We can arrange for Chimney Pots, Cowls And Birdguards, Complete Chimney Safety Inspections and of course Chimney Sweeping.