Chimney Blog March 2019

How To Keep Your Chimney Safe

Posted On: March 18, 2019

Good Morning America recently shared a segment on ways to keep your chimney safe. According to statistics, in 2015 there were more than 20,000 fires that were related to fireplaces and chimneys. These fired resulted in 20 deaths, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This is why it is important to practice safe methods when using your home's chimney and get a chimney inspection at least once a year. That way you can help avoid any serious issues that may arise.

Creosote glaze buildup is something that can cause serious damage to your home and chimney and can have adverse effects to your health. Creosote glaze is a tar-like by product of burning wood and is more dangerous than common soot. The glaze is combustible, so if a spark were to go up the chimney flue it could ignite the glaze, which would subsequently result in a chimney flue fire. Removing creosote glaze demands more than a simple chimney sweep, so be sure to contact a chimney professional to learn about how to properly handle this issue.

Creosote glaze buildup is something that can cause serious damage to your home and chimney and can have adverse effects to your health. Creosote glaze is a tar-like by product of burning wood and is more dangerous than common soot. The glaze is combustible, so if a spark were to go up the chimney flue it could ignite the glaze, which would subsequently result in a chimney flue fire. Removing creosote glaze demands more than a simple chimney sweep, so be sure to contact a chimney professional to learn about how to properly handle this issue.

Chimney safety goes beyond just the fire being burned in the fireplace. Chimneys allow any carbon monoxide buildup to safety exit the home. It can be connected to a furnace, boiler or hot water heater in your home. When this is the case, it is important to make sure that debris is not falling down the liner and clogging the fumes from exiting. If there is debris present, deadly carbon monoxide can travel back into the home. A simple fix to this is a chimney cap. Perhaps your current chimney cap is damaged, which can allow excess debris to enter the flue. Or maybe you do not even have a chimney cap, which in that case one can be installed. To make sure that you are safe from any carbon monoxide entering your home, please be sure to have a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home.

Some general warning signs to look out for to know you may be in need of service are: cracks on the outside of the chimney, damaged bricks, white or black staining, or soot falling into your home. If any of these are present, please do not hesitate to contact us for a professional chimney inspection!

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Spring Cleaning for Chimneys

Posted On: March 11, 2019

Post-winter Chimney Maintenance

Inspection and maintenance of your chimney prior to winter is of utmost importance before the snow arrives. With harsh elements such as ice and wind hitting the masonry, the structure of your home could be effected. It’s not only the exterior that could use the attention. With the fireplace in use over the cold months, the lower interior may have build-up of the toxic creosote. As we head into spring, you’ll want to once again examine the key areas of the chimney. While we recommend the professionals to complete the inspection, an experienced homeowner may be able to handle the following tasks.

Masonry

The exterior mainly consists of bricks and mortar. Look for cracks or any spots where the masonry is missing. If not properly sealed, water could enter the interior and lead to serious damage. The same goes for the flashing, a sealing component where the roof meets the top of the chimney.

Cap

The cap is designed to allow smoke to leave and keep animals out. If there is an opening, creatures such as raccoons, squirrels and birds will enter and possibly nest. They don’t know any better. They just know that this is a warm spot to reside. If this is the case, you may need more than a chimney expert. You will require animal control experts.

Fireplace

Since the fireplace has likely been used several times through the winter, the spring is really the ideal time to conduct a full sweep and cleaning. As mentioned elsewhere on our site, creosote will build and become toxic. If you don’t want to stick an object in the flue to measures the thickness of creosote, an easier way to judge is by smell. When it gets warmer, a musty, smoky odor will especially be noticeable.

Taking care of all this may seem like a lot of extra work, but it’s worth it for sound piece of mind. Plus your fireplace will be clean and ready for the following winter.

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