A fire lit in the fireplace can produce an inviting atmosphere, keeping the room cozy while the temperature outside remains cold. But, if the chimney isn’t properly cared for, it can start a fire in a place you don’t want – like your roof! It’s easy to get excited about having the warm fireplace scenery in your family room or living room and want to light the hearth before it is ready, but it can potentially cause a dangerous situation. If you haven’t used your chimney in a long time, it may have buildup that needs to be cleaned or a repair that needs to be fixed. The best way to maintain your chimney is to have it professionally cleaned and swept by a professional.
What’s inside your chimney? If you don’t know, then that is more the reason you should have it maintained before using it. There could be crumbling bricks, creosote buildup, or a blockage of debris in the flue, just waiting to cause a serious hazard once the fire is lit in the hearth. Call up your local chimney sweep company for maintenance service so that these common issues don’t happen to your home.
Hazard #1: Chimney Fire
The Issues That Cause It: As the wood burns in the fireplace, creosote and smoke travel up through the chimney. The creosote, which is a mixture of dark colored tar and a fine carbon powder, becomes deposited in the chimney’s lining. When too much of it builds up, the heat from the fire in the fireplace will cause the creosote material to catch on fire in the chimney. Blockages and brickwork problems are also causes of chimney fires because the blazing temperature can make the obstacles turn into flames. If there are any cracks in the flue, the heat could spark a fire on the exposed parts of the building.
The Damaging Result: The fire in the chimney can destroy the structure and can spread to other parts of the dwelling. The damage would depend on how fast the fire travels and how quickly the fire can be put out.
Hazard #2: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Fumes
The Issues That Cause It: When large amounts of creosote build up in the flue, the chimney system’s ventilation becomes cut off, allowing dangerous carbon monoxide fumes to leak into the home’s interior. Other factors that can block the chimney’s ventilation flow are obstructions and fallen brickwork.
The Damaging Result: A huge volume of carbon monoxide can harm members of the household, especially since it is hard to notice. The deadly fume is tasteless, odorless and invisible. Always make sure your carbon monoxide alarm detector is functioning.
Hazard #3: A Non-Domestic Animal Enters the Indoor Premises
The Issues That Cause It: To prevent nature’s rudiments and animals from getting into the flue, the chimney should be equipped with a cap and crown. If they are missing, a wild animal could unintentionally wind up entering the home from crawling through the flue. Elements from the weather can also make its way down the chimney without the necessary cap and crown parts, such as snow, leaves, sticks, etc.
The Damaging Result: The environmental elements can cause damage to the chimney’s structure, while animals that get into the home can damage furniture or possibly injure members of the household.
A quality chimney sweep and cleaning will help to avoid these hazardous situations from occurring. The maintenance session will help to keep your home and family safe, as well as pinpoint any chimney repair that needs to be assessed in Philadelphia.