Picture a hot and humid day in August. It’s 89 degrees. Doesn’t ice, sleet, and snow seem like a dream, like rude memories? As you’re sitting on the porch or by your pool, a few words from last year’s chimney inspection echo in your mind: “You don’t have any leaks yet, but keep an eye on those cracks in your crown.” You remember thinking to yourself: chimney crown damage is like a tooth cavity: by the time it hurts, you’re already in trouble!

These summer months are the perfect time to address such nagging fears. Summer is an ideal season for masonry repairs.


Summer repairs make sense from a practical and logistical standpoint. For one thing, it’s an easier work environment for Old Smokey’s experienced masons and technicians. Plus, summer weather conditions facilitate sealing and setting. It’s the optimum time for masonry repair. If nothing else, there are more daylight hours for working.

Chimney crowns are but one masonry element that might beg for repair. Since they take a beating from harsh winters and heat spells, and everything in-between, they deteriorate and wear down. Cracks can occur. And those cracks can lead to leaks and troublesome moisture intrusion. But it takes the discerning eye of a professional to detect crown cracks that might be the harbinger of leaks to come.

Catching crown damage before it becomes excessive saves you money. Small cracks in the face of the crown are often an easy and painless spoonful of prevention. A dose of CrownSeal, for example, can provide a waterproof protective seal for your “slightly injured” chimney crown.

If in doubt about the condition of your chimney crown, call Old Smokey’s at 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539 or set up an appointment online before the summer runs out.

What other masonry problems should be addressed in the summer?

If odors are coming from your chimney and your fireplace, the smell may originate from creosote deposits in the chimney. The unpleasant smell tends to be worse in the summer. A good sweeping is advised. Another solution is a tight-sealing, top-mounted damper. This reduces airflow coming down the chimney.

Summertime is ideal for evaluating whether the flue is cracked or blocked. It’s also an opportunity to look for any build up affecting air flow — critters, vegetation, leaves, old nests. Clearing away this stuff reduces risks of fire or noxious fumes.

Finally, summer is an excellent time to inspect all of your chimney’s mortar or brickwork for any signs of damage or deterioration, such as spalling, crumbling, looseness, or cracking. Better now than a cold day in January!

For 20+ years, Old Smokey’s has served homeowners in northern Indiana, northern Ohio and mid-Michigan. Homeowners from Elkhart in the west to Ypsilanti in the east, from Lansing in the north to Defiance and Fort Wayne in the south are served by Old Smokey’s. Our experience testifies to the trust we have built throughout the region – in summer, and winter, spring, and fall!