Superior Chimney Services, Inc.

A CSIA Professional’s Guide to Spring Cleaning

A CSIA certified chimney sweep is a professional certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (or CSIA). All of Superior Chimney’s technicians and masons, not just some, are CSIA certified. These are highly trained professionals who are unquestionably the most qualified and knowledgeable people for the job. As Spring tries to make its way into Chicagoland area, so does Spring cleaning. Warmer, sunnier weather signals a good time to repair outdoor structures, especially chimneys! Here’s a brief guide on what to check for while you are spring cleaning mode this year.

Step 1: Organization

Get a notepad, and sort into 3 columns. Maintenance (extensive damage), repair (medium damage) and replace (minor damage). This is a great way to keep your thoughts organized. 

Step 2: Signs of Water Damage

Inside your home, look for signs of water damage. Water damage is extremely common, especially after a mild winter. Humidity, rain and strong winds impact the outside of your chimney, so there may be hidden leaks inside. Check your ceiling. Do you see signs of water damage? Check the attic and roof for leaks. Inside the firebox, there may be water damage. A sure sign of water damage are dried water puddles or a musty smell coming from the firebox. If you notice any of these things, write them on the notepad. You need a CSIA certified chimney sweep to fix these issues, and should list it under “maintenance”. 

Step 3: Check for Drafts

Drafts are cold and smelly air coming into your home from the firebox. Are you noticing any smell from your chimney? It can smell like must, animals/decay, mold, or chemicals (creosote). All of these smells signal something is going on in the flue. The downdraft can be caused by a faulty chimney damper, an open chimney damper (an easy fix! Put under “repair”), or reverse air pressure/flow. These details should be noted down and brought up to the certified chimney technician.

Step 4: Check the Outside

When was the last time you checked the outside of your chimney? It’s not something we think of on a day to day basis. But it’s crucial because it relates to how the inside functions. A faulty outside will cause a faulty inside. If there’s crumbling or missing chunks of masonry, lack of or rusty chimney cap, or deteriorating flashing, note these details down under “repair” or “replace”. It depends on how much damage there is.

Step 5: Calling A Certified Professional

A CSIA certified chimney sweep does not advise tackling these issues yourself. Don’t forget, there might be some damages that you can’t see just by a walkthrough. At Superior Chimney, our certified professionals will inspect your chimney from cap to firebox. We are trained to do it safely and efficiently. When you call, show us the notes you took during your walkthrough. We will help tackle those, and any other issues we see. Contact us today at 877-244-6349.

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