Plenty of people enjoy the relaxing ambiance of a fireplace in their den or living room. However, this ambiance does not come without risk. Before operating your fireplace, you need to make sure that it’s clean and safe to use.
Here at Above All Chimney & Masonry, the chimney repair experts of Philadelphia, we highly recommend that you have your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected at least once every year. There are many reasons why this is necessary. Here are three of the most important reasons.
1. Prevent a Chimney Fire
A chimney fire can be devastating with its dense smoke and a strong odor, but surprisingly, they aren’t always dramatic enough that neighbors will notice. They can burn slowly while still reaching high temperatures and seeping into the walls of your house. Flames from a chimney fire can spread rapidly into the walls or roof, causing massive damage, if not the complete destruction of your home. This scenario can easily be avoided with a proper cleaning of your chimney.
The most common cause of chimney fire is failing to clean it. Over time they clog with creosote, a natural, tar-like substance that builds up due to burning wood. It’s black or brown and leaves a glaze inside your chimney. This glaze is highly combustible, so just a small amount can start a fire. Restricted air supply is another factor that contributes to the accumulation of creosote, another reason why you must clean your chimney regularly.
2. Protect Your Health
Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced when fuel burns. Even low levels of CO can result in headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion and fainting. A clogged chimney or a chimney with an improperly functioning flue can cause this dangerous gas to build up. Unfortunately, CO is responsible for thousands of deaths in this country every year, many of which are due to blocked chimneys.
3. Prevent Smoke Damage
If your chimney isn’t serviced regularly, soot will accumulate near the flue. This buildup makes it difficult for the flue to pull the smoke upwards, causing the smoke to enter the room instead. This soot leaves a black film around your hearth and soils any furniture, carpeting or decorations closeby. Smoke may even cause a black stain around your chimney, which can be impossible to remove.
If you take shortcuts or get lazy with chimney and fireplace maintenance, you are putting lives at risk. Fortunately, this risk can be minimized.
If you need your chimney cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney professional, call our technicians at Above All Chimney & Masonry, the hardscaping and masonry experts serving Montgomery County, PA and beyond. Schedule your sweep today by calling 215-396-4294!