Hurricane season starts on July 1 and ends on November 30th. The last few years have been very deadly for Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi areas. Various storms and hurricanes have caused millions of dollars in damages. We have some tips and advice for you this hurricane season to help you protect your home and property.

Rain and water are some of the most corrosive materials, especially when unattended for long periods of time. Chimney leaks are one of the most common issues we find when performing a chimney inspection. Chimney leaks can cause mold inside the chimney, which causes a nasty foul odor and is very harmful to breathe. A water leak can also mix with the sooty build-up, or creosote, causing acidic cracks. A chimney cap is an easy, low-cost, install to stop these problems at the source.

Tip #1 – Animals

Animals frequent chimneys as a place for shelter. This is a reoccurring issue we find in homes often. Do you hear the flapping of wings or little scratches inside your chimney? You may have an animal in there! Animals use chimneys for shelter because it will protect them from inclement weather and predators. Bats, birds, and raccoons are just some of the animals that can be found in your chimney, no matter how cute some of them are, they still can cause damage. It is important to remove an animal from your chimney for their safety and for yours. At the Fireplace Doctor Chimney Sweep, we practice humane animal removal.

Tip #2 – Moisture

Water can seep into a chimney from heavy rainfall, even from the tiniest cracks! A regular annual inspection can help you spot these problems before they get worse. A small leak can turn into a very large leak and cause damage over time. Hurricanes, or inclement weather, can disturb the seals on your chimney. Does it sound like water is leaking in your chimney, or is there a mildew-like smell? You may have a water leak. We utilize three levels of inspection to detect any issues of this nature. Our inspections include using high-end technology to get a camera-scan of your chimney from the inside out.

Tip #3 – Weather Damage

Foliage, branches and twigs are found in chimneys that do not have chimney caps often, especially after a torrent of high winds. Leaves and small branches that make their way into your chimney can be found at the hearth of the chimney and can cause a mess. Sometimes, twigs may get lodged within the chimney, without you ever knowing. It’s important to remove any blockages in the chimney, without doing so it can cause a fire. Embers may find their way to the top of the chimney, exiting at hot temperatures. Foliage can mix with these embers and cause a small fire at the very top of your chimney or even on the roof! This can be easily avoided with a chimney cap, which prevents burning particles from escaping.

A chimney cap is highly beneficial. It can save you a great deal of time and money, were you ever to have a water leak, preventative measures can easily be taken. A chimney cap is a smart decision this hurricane season.