Spring is here! It’s also the time that homeowners and chimney professionals will discover chimney damage that might have gone unnoticed during burn season. It’s important to schedule a chimney inspection at the end of burn season. In addition, address any problems before closing out the chimney system for the summer.

Signs of Damage

The Mad Hatter can become busy in spring and fall! We’re repairing chimney and masonry damage that resulted from neglect or from a lifetime of wear and tear. Our technicians are trained to spot weaknesses and damage from its smallest occurrence.

However, homeowners can assess their chimneys frequently as well:

  • Foul Odors
    Smoky odors indicate a buildup of soot and creosote inside the chimney’s interior. When this substance mingles with moisture, it results in a barbecue smell. Also, it can eventually also lead to a musty, moldy smell. A more pungent, rotten smell means an animal has nested, and possibly died inside the chimney. Any of these foul odors is reason enough to contact a chimney professional.
  • Smoky Fireplace
    Is smoke pushing into your living space instead of disappearing up the chimney? If so, it should be corrected by a few adjustments. Attempting to correct the draft? Adjust the damper and burn only properly seasoned wood. If the smoke persists, you should contact a chimney professional. It should be swept and inspected.
  • Stains on Masonry
    White, powdery remnants on the exterior of the chimney is caused from water penetration and evaporation. Since water is devastating to masonry it should be addressed right away! Water also stains masonry with green and black mold. This mold can thrive in the warm damp chimney and cause health risks to your family.
  • Spalling Masonry
    Winter damage can cause spalling bricks and mortar, cracking, damaged, and falling pieces of the masonry. When water is allowed to penetrate the masonry in winter, the water freezes and expands, breaking apart the stone materials. When it thaws, it moves further into the masonry. It repeats this freeze/thaw cycle until the masonry breaks apart, allowing more water into the system and damaging the structure of the chimney itself.
  • Dripping
    The sight and sound of dripping in the fireplace and within the chimney system means water has penetrated the system. It can cause leaks throughout your home, damaging walls, floors, and ceilings. By the time evidence of a leak is discovered by a homeowner, it’s most likely left devastating hidden damage within the system itself.

When to Call a Professional

If your chimney system has signs of masonry damage, you should contact a chimney expert right away. The Mad Hatter specializes in masonry repairs. By having your chimney inspected in the spring, your chimney sweep can work with you to plan repairs before fall. With our help, your chimney system can be ready for a fire with the first appearance of cool weather.

Call The Mad Hatter today at 317.596.0200 or visit our East 65th Street location.