Chimneys and fireplaces add character and warmth to a home, but to safely use a fireplace, chimney maintenance is essential.
The four most common problems are:
- Creosote Build Up – When wood is burned creosote is deposited inside the chimney lining. Creosote is a black or dark brown tar, and soot is the fine carbon powder which colors smoke. The combination of creosote and soot is usually what is referred to as creosote in the chimney. There are several forms of creosote, and they are all dangerous because they can cause chimney fires or obstruct the chimney, causing dangerous carbon monoxide fumes to invade the household.
- Blockages – One of the most dangerous forms of blockage occurs when a chimney hasn’t been used in a long time. A blockage could be caused by a bird’s nest, leaves, other debris or, if the chimney has deteriorated, even the masonry itself.
- Cracks in the Flue – Homeowners should be aware that chimney linings, commonly made of clay, are subjected to a lot of heat and stress. If not constructed of stainless steel, they often become damaged. One of the most important reasons to get an annual chimney inspection is to ensure that the flue lining is intact. A damaged flue can cause the heat from the fire to reach combustible parts of the home and start a house fire. In addition, it could expose the household to dangerous gases including carbon monoxide.
- Chimney Cap and Chimney Crown – The first lines of defense against harsh outdoor elements are the chimney cap and masonry crown. If either of these is damaged, moisture could enter your chimney and wreak all kinds of havoc causing your chimney to be unsafe for use.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends having chimneys inspected annually.
Don’t be among those who underestimate the importance of chimney maintenance.
Have a professionally licensed and experienced chimney technician determine whether your chimney needs repair.
PHOTO CAP: 28 years in business and 25,000+ customers strong!