The Dangers of a Chimney & Fireplace that Aren’t Inspected
Almost all the trouble caused by chimney damage and malfunction every year could be prevented if the homeowners scheduled annual chimney inspections by a licensed chimney technician.
If you’ve never had a chimney inspection, here are some benefits you should know about.
Reduce the chances of a chimney fire
You can’t see inside your chimney flue, but your chimney inspector can. He or she can determine if there’s a major buildup of creosote, which would point to the very real possibility of a chimney fire happening in the near future.
Creosote is a byproduct of smoke, and it’s highly flammable. Sticky, flakey, puffy or solid, creosote in all its forms needs to be removed by an experienced chimney sweep with the tools and experience to do the job safely and correctly.
Detect chimney leaks and related damage
It’s not uncommon for a chimney to leak either through the brick work or one of the components such as the chimney crown or flashing. A chimney inspection will alert you to early signs of leaking so you can have the problem repaired and avoid spending big money on it.
Your inspector will discover why the chimney is leaking and also figure out if there has been damage related to other areas of your chimney/fireplace system. Your inspector will recommend steps you can take to reduce the chances of future leaks happening.
Evaluate the condition of the chimney structure
A chimney inspection will look closely at your chimney structure – the bricks and mortar that form the chimney. Cracked bricks, crumbling mortar, white staining and other problems will be identified early and the correct repairs suggested.
Your inspector also will look at the structure as a whole to determine if it’s beginning to lean to one side. This can be caused by problems with the chimney footing or issues within sections of the masonry.
Solve drafting problems
Several things can cause a chimney to draft smoke inefficiently. When this happens, your home’s breathing air can be compromised with both smoke and carbon monoxide, which is present in smoke.
Carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless but is known to be potentially fatal to people and pets when inhaled. A chimney inspector will determine if debris or creosote in the flue is causing the backup or if your fireplace damper isn’t opening fully to let smoke rise. Whatever the cause, you can get it resolved.
Check the condition of chimney components
Key components your inspector will look at include:
- Chimney cap
- Chimney crown
- Chimney flashing
- Fireplace damper
- Chimney liner
Problems in any of these components can lead to serious malfunction, structural damage, water leaks and other issues that are very expensive to fix.
Advice and strategies
Chimney professionals inspect the entire chimney and fireplace system, and they’re also great sources of expert advice on daily use and maintenance. A chimney inspector is your best friend when it comes to safety, efficiency and wintertime comfort.
Mercer County Chimney Services of Hamilton Township, NJ, is on call year-round to help with all your chimney needs. We provide licensed inspections along with a full menu of repairs and chimney cleaning services.
Get more information or schedule an appointment by calling (609) 802-5288.