The Top 3 Risks of Neglecting Chimney Maintenance
A chimney may look like a sturdy tower adorning the roof of your home, but risks to home and family result from lack of chimney maintenance. The proof of widespread chimney neglect is best identified by observing the number of house fires it causes every year, which is in the thousands. Chimneys, as indestructible as they may seem, are highly vulnerable to deterioration caused by moisture as well as other potentially hazardous problems. The top three risks of neglecting chimney maintenance are detailed below.
Because of creosote, chimney sweeping services are essential if you have a wood-burning fireplace. Creosote is a highly flammable combustion byproduct created by wood fires. Small bits of the tar-like substance are in the smoke that rises up through the chimney. Those parts of the smoke solidify and stick to the chimney lining as it travels up the chimney and encounters moisture and cold temperatures.
The risk of a chimney fire increases as more and more creosote is formed in your chimney lining. Chimney fires are often misunderstood because homeowners have the idea that they are good for burning off creosote. The reality is that creosote, indeed, feeds chimney fires. If there is a lot of the tar-like material, the raging fire and incredible heat continue until the chimney liner is destroyed and consuming flames spread into the home.
Hazardous Chimney Obstructions
If you go without the recommended annual chimney inspections, one of the risks you take is that your chimney will become obstructed, unknown to you. Creosote buildup, birds’ nests, debris from a storm, and masonry materials that deteriorate and fall into the chimney can all cause blockage. The two dangers of chimney blockage are chimney fires and exposure to toxic fumes.
The toxic fumes produced by wood fires typically go up your chimney. If the fumes are unable to exit through the chimney because of a clogged flue, they go into the home. Among those toxic gases is deadly carbon monoxide (CO). Known as the “Silent Killer,” CO is tasteless, odorless, invisible, and non-irritating. People who are exposed don’t realize what’s happening because there are no symptoms until it is often too late to escape the fumes.
(Note: In addition to a smoke alarm, a home with a fireplace or heating stove must have a carbon monoxide detector to lesson CO exposure and potentially save lives.)
Dangers Resulting from Chimney Liner Damage
Without a chimney inspection, it is often impossible to detect that a chimney liner is damaged, which is highly dangerous. The liner inside a chimney must not be damaged to any extent.
If there is even a tiny crack in the liner, two hazards occur:
Toxic gases can enter the home and endanger its occupants; and
Combustible materials can ignite, starting a dangerous home fire.
Chimney liners can deteriorate due to common wear and tear, a mixture of creosote and moisture, and other conditions.
Contact Mercer County Chimney Service
Mercer County Chimney Service is a trusted chimney sweep company throughout New Jersey and Mercer County. We offer expert chimney services, including chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, chimney repair, flashing repair, chimney crown rebuilds, and much more. Your safety is important to us. If you have been neglecting chimney maintenance, give us a call today. We provide reliable services, competitive prices, and peace of mind. Ensure the safety of your home and family by calling us at (609) 802-5288 today.