“April is the cruelest month”…not only does it tease with flickers of spring but it conceals the return of fall. Forgetting most of what we learn in high school, our memories of The Wasteland are usually limited to that single line. The IRS brings it back every year, and late snows that kill early plantings prompt us to recall it every spring. Very few people, however, connect the thought with their chimneys, which, unfortunately, makes it all the more true.
What happens to chimneys in spring is that less and less heated air from fireplaces moves through them. It is true that no new creosote is being created if the fireplace is not in use. However, there is also no hot air regularly drying moisture in the flue, and that is why an unclean chimney smells bad.
The moisture combines with accumulated creosote already on the flue’s walls and corrosive acidic compounds are created. Those acids gradually eat away at the flue liner, and the creosote hardens, so leaving it in the chimney through spring and summer is masochistic. It sets homeowners up for a more painful fall with a bigger mess to clean up in the chimney.
Don’t Be Cruel To Yourself
That is far and away the most important reason to have it cleaned out now but there are also plenty of other reasons. The smell of damp creosote is not a pleasant one and can make it seem that you skipped your spring cleaning altogether this year. It can aggravate allergies, and it may attract critters drawn to the smells that we find offensive.
That, of course, is another good reason to view April as the cruelest month in connection with your chimney. All kinds of things are hopping and running across your roof again, so denying them access to the flue is hugely important. Making sure none have found their way in, and evicting any that have, should be done before closing up the house. Now, there is only one thing left…clean the chimney!