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If you are a homeowner with a chimney and/or fireplace, you may not realize when it is time to call a chimney sweep. Like many, you probably think you can save a lot of money by doing it on your own, and this may be true. However, more times than not, homeowners tend to cause more damage by trying to fix the problem themselves. Here are a few chimney problems that you may run across that really should have a chimney sweep involved.

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1. Gas or Oil Burner Shuts Down

Many of today’s heating appliances have an automatic switch that will cut off the system if it is not able to vent fumes through the chimney. This is an emergency situation that should be remedied quickly. The problem could be a result of a bird or other animals living in the chimney, a blockage at the base, or the collapse of the chimney interior.

2. Birds or Other Animals in the Chimney

In the winter animals like to keep warm near the chimney. Unfortunately, it is common for them to fall in and get stuck. Also, when your chimney is not being used, birds find them to be great nesting areas. To prevent both of these problems, a chimney sweep can install stainless steel covers. This will also prevent rainwater from entering your chimney.

3. Water Leaks in the Basement of the Fireplace

If a gas burner was improperly connected to a chimney, it could result in water condensation build up. This could lead to multiple problems. One of which being the eventual deterioration of the clay lining if not corrected. Another areas water can build up is the fireplace. In this case, a chimney cap should be installed and the cement crown should be inspected. If you notice water leaking at the base of your fireplace, call a chimney sweep to get to the root of the problem before it becomes costly.

4. Chipping or Cracked Cement or Brick

If you notice cement chips present on your roof or the ground near the chimney, do not ignore them. If you do this could be very expensive mistake. Many times when this type of deterioration is noticeable, it is coming from the cement crown, which serves to secure the top bricks together and wash rain off the chimney to prevent it from entering. If cracks appear in the crown, water can get inside that can work its way through the chimney. During the winter, this water freezes and expands, and this leads to much bigger problems on the inside of the chimney. The good news is that this one can be spotted and repaired quick.

For More Information Read:
What to Do in Case of a Chimney Fire
Is Water More Dangerous to a Chimney Than Fire?
Chimney Masonry Repair: Why It’s Needed

Wells & Sons offers chimney services to the Allentown, PA and many other surrounding areas. Our services include chimney sweeping, installing new chase covers as well as installing and replacing chimney caps, chimney re-linings, chimney inspections, replacement of deteriorated metal chimneys, masonry repair, and restoring historic fireplaces and chimneys.