Tips to Keep Track of Your Chimney’s Health
While collecting and drying out firewood for your cozy fireplace this winter or planning parties around your linear gas fireplace, don’t forget that the health of your chimney is an important safety issue. There’s a lot involved with keeping up with all the demands of a household, season after season. If anything is overlooked, don’t let it be chimney safety because doing so could endanger your household. The following tips should ensure that your chimney is in good shape and safe to use in winter.
Annual Chimney Inspections
The number one strategy for tracking chimney health is by having the chimney inspected once every year, as recommended by every leading fire safety organization in the U.S. This includes the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
During a chimney inspection, a certified chimney expert checks your chimney from top to bottom, looking for any signs of damage or deterioration. Moisture in the chimney system resulting from water intrusion can lead to costly chimney repairs. Such expenses are reduced when such issues are discovered and addressed by chimney professionals earlier rather than later.
Damage to the flue lining or the back wall of the fireplace exposes your home to leaks of toxic gases and a possible house fire, both of which can be life-threatening.
When you burn firewood, creosote is deposited in your chimney flue during each use. You can reduce the amount of flammable creosote in your chimney by burning only seasoned wood. Burning wood with high moisture content, such as green wood, results in a great deal more creosote in the flue due to the fact that these fires do not burn clean. Most of the fire’s energy goes to burn out the moisture, which creates a lot more smoke and combustion materials.
The NFPA recommends chimney cleaning at least annually, though frequent use of a fireplace can demand twice-yearly chimney cleaning. CSIA suggests that once 1/8” of creosote is built up in the flue, it’s time to schedule a professional chimney sweep to clean your chimney.
The two biggest problems that occur when chimney cleaning is neglected are chimney fires and chimney obstruction, both of which are dangerous.
Watch for Signs of Chimney Trouble
Many times, a damaged chimney is not obvious until something major happens, such as a chimney leak that stains the ceilings and walls around the fireplace. There are some signs of chimney problems, however, that you can identify yourself. If you see any of the following, it’s time to call chimney experts for repairs:
· You see masonry or tile debris in your fireplace or bits of broken bricks around your external chimney on the roof.
· You smell odors coming from inside your fireplace.
· There is staining on your chimney, which, in short, is proof that water is currently damaging your masonry. The staining is usually white, green, or brown in color.
· You are sounds of dripping inside your chimney.
· There is mildew on your chimney or fireplace masonry.
· Your fireplace smokes.
Contact Dubuque Fireplace & Patio for Chimney Services
Are you ready to give your chimney a needed check-up? All of our chimney technicians are trained and certified. Contact us about a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, chimney repair, chimney rebuilding, chimney leaks, and all of your needs related to chimney repair and maintenance. Contact information is below.
Dubuque Fireplace & Patio
925 Century Drive, Dubuque, Iowa
Phone – (563) 582-5156
Chimney Specialists Inc.
869 Main Street, Highland, WI