A fireplace in your home provides a cozy environment, but chimney safety is important to ensure your home remains the warm, safe environment you expect. You can take steps to make sure your chimney is in good working order.
Common Chimney Problems
Burning embers from your fireplace can easily spark a fire in a chimney that isn't in working order. One common issue is creosote buildup. When creosote builds up in the chimney, it blocks ventilation and can result in fire or dangerous carbon monoxide.
What Causes Creosote Buildup?
Creosote is the residue that forms in a chimney as the result of burning organic materials, like wood. This sticky, tarry substance continues to build each time you use the fireplace.
The only way to ensure it doesn't build up enough to cause a fire or block airflow is to have a chimney sweep come out for regular cleanings. Sweep the chimney once a year or more often if the fireplace is used daily.
What Causes Flue Damage?
The flue is the protective lining in your chimney that ensures smoke and carbon monoxide exit the home. If it is cracked, it puts your family in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Cracks occur when the heat is not evenly distributed through the chimney. The unevenness leads to unequal expansion of tiles. This leads to cracking, buckling, and splitting in the flue. Moisture getting into the chimney can also cause cracking. A new insert is a good solution to fix a cracked flue. Stainless steel is the ideal choice and a better option than clay tiles that are more prone to cracking due to their inability to quickly absorb heat. A new flue insert just takes a few hours to replace. An expert in chimney repair can do it safely and quickly.
What Causes Obstruction?
One common cause of chimney obstruction is animals that make a home in that space. Small animals and birds can make a nest in the chimney when not in use. Other obstructions are due to debris that collects in the chimney. A blocked chimney doesn't allow smoke to exit and can quickly fill a room with dangerous smoke. You can prevent blockages by installing a chimney cap and annual chimney inspections.
The chimney doesn't have to pose a hazard if you have it inspected regularly and have any issues taken care of by a professional in chimney repair services.