Chimney Blog September 2017

Five Reasons to Have Your Chimney Inspected

Posted On: September 27, 2017

Millions of people own chimneys. During the cooler seasons of Fall and Winter, a room with a beautiful properly functioning fireplace is perfect for both relaxing and entertaining guests. However, your chimney has many working parts that wear over time like any other household appliance. To keep your chimney working properly, scheduling annual chimney inspections is necessary. Here are a five reasons why you should have your chimney inspected.

Soot & Debris Accumulation

A thick black coating of soot and dirt called creosote builds up in the lining of your chimney after many uses. This creosote prevents your chimney from efficiently blowing smoke out of your home. More importantly, creosote causes increased levels of carbon monoxide and can severely harm your health if inhaled. If you notice your chimney struggling to expel smoke efficiently or a black substance in your flue, booking an inspection is imperative for you and your loved ones. 

Proper Blower Function

Both coal and wood burning fireplaces have blowers that push smoke and other hazards, including carbon monoxide, out of your home through the flue. If this chimney component malfunctions, soot and debris could build up leaving you at risk of getting sick from breathing in creosote toxins.

Damaged or Cracked Bricks

Bricks and the mortar joints that hold them together are what make up the structural integrity of your chimney. If you notice bricks that are slipping out of place, broken or chipped, calling a chimney inspector is a must. Allowing bricks to keep cracking and breaking can interfere with your chimney's airflow by not allowing hot air to escape or by letting cold air into the flue while it is in use. If cold air gets in, you will have to use more energy to warm your home and spend more money to do so. A chimney inspection will lead you to a professional chimney technician who can easily correct this problem as well as most others.

Airflow Obstructions 

If you live is in an a woodsy area, your chimney's flue could be accidentally blocked or closed off. Environmental factors including broken tree branches, leaves, debris and even animals could get stuck inside your flue. If you figure that your chimney's airflow is not working efficiently or actually see foreign objects in your chimney, scheduling a chimney inspection is crucial to correcting the problem. 

Building Codes & Laws

Your area's building codes may have changed since your last inspection. Your chimney is no different that any of your utilities that you schedule inspections for.  To ensure that you do not get in legal trouble or pay a possible fine, an inspector will check to guarantee your chimney's safety and compliance with local code and protocol.

Learn more about Always Affordable Chimney, Inc. chimney inspection services.

If you have any questions about chimney inspections or our other services, please call us today at (855) 244-6880


You Check your Batteries Why not your Chimney?

Posted On: September 04, 2017

Winter ChimneyWell, we’re past the time change where everyone and their brother tells you to check the batteries in your smoke detector, your carbon monoxide detector, and even the National Weather Service gets into the act telling you to check the batteries in your weather alert radio. Well, not to be outdone, we are going to ask you to check something too.

Aside from the time change we are also moving into the winter weather scheme. Yes, you should check your furnace to be sure it provides the heat you need and if you have a wood stove you should be sure to stock up on fuel. And when the leaves are finished falling and you make that one last trip to clean the gutters, you should check the chimney before you get off the ladder.  

Before you go up, check to see that your chimney is standing as straight as it always did. A leaning chimney is not a good sign and must be attended to; of course that’s a worst case scenario. Next, check to see if there are any bricks that look loose or out of place. If there are, note the location and call a chimney professional.

Lastly, look at the base of your chimney where it meets the roof. There should be some sheet metal at this point and it is called flashing. Flashing wraps around the base of your chimney and acts as a moisture barrier by deflecting water away from the chimney. Water-stained ceilings near the location of your chimney tend to make the case for a flashing problem, but nothing beats getting near the roof and taking a peek.

If your flashing has breaks in the seams, is bent or is missing entirely, call a chimney professional. A roofer may come up there and tell you a little tar will fix your problem, but it won’t, it hides the problem. If your flashing needs repair or replacement, get it done quickly. The damage that can be caused by a flashing problem can only get worse and will cost you more in the long run.

Of course, if you are unable to get to your chimney to do this yourself it is not wise to completely ignore it. Hoping for the best is not a good course of action when it comes to your safety and the safety of your family.   If this is the case then please reach out to a reputable chimney service who can do this for you.

Tommy Reek
Always Affordable Chimney, Inc.
(855) 244-6880