Chimneys need to be inspected regularly for safety and function. When a chimney is not maintained, small problems can turn into major issues and even structural damage therefore, you must choose from the best chimney repair companies.
A dirty chimney makes it difficult for a professional to perform an inspection. A buildup of soot and creosote can mask physical issues with the chimney structure.
1. Prevents Fires
Thousands of chimney fires happen every year, and they can cause severe damage to your home and be deadly. They’re caused by a build-up of flammable creosote, which forms as wood burns. This byproduct of burning fuel travels to cooler parts of the flue and becomes a sticky, puffy or flakey substance that can cling to a chimney’s walls.
Regular cleanings prevent the accumulation of this dangerous chemical in your fireplace and chimney’s flue. A professional cleaning will also uncover any deteriorating or cracked chimney components such as the chimney liner, which protects combustible portions of your house from intense fireplace heat and prevents toxic gases from entering your living spaces.
In addition, a regular inspection can reveal any moisture issues in your fireplace such as water stains on the chimney’s masonry or cracks within the firebox. Discovering and repairing these problems prevents them from getting worse and saves you money on energy bills. It can also save you from expensive repairs down the road.
2. Prevents Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Chimneys aren’t just for smoke; they are responsible for funneling dangerous fumes out of the house. When these fumes are pushed back into the home due to chimney problems, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can occur. Also known as the “silent killer”, CO is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that can be fatal when exposed to high levels.
Soot and creosote buildup, blockages, damaged flue liners, or chimneys that are too short for proper venting can all contribute to CO in your home. Regular chimney maintenance and repair will ensure these harmful fumes are prevented from getting into your living areas.
Carbon monoxide detectors are readily available and should be placed near any fuel-burning appliances in your home as well as the bedroom where people sleep. It is important to have these detectors properly installed and maintained by a qualified technician each year. Also, have your heating system, water heater and any other fuel-burning equipment inspected by a qualified technician each year.
3. Prevents Health Issues
Chimneys vent toxins from wood-burning fires and fireplaces into the home. These toxins include carbon monoxide and other deadly gases that are odorless, tasteless, and invisible. If these gases build up inside a house without a functioning chimney, the occupants will suffer from illness and possibly death. The best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to ensure that the chimneys are properly cleaned and inspected on a regular basis.
A professional chimney sweep will clean the flue area to remove the layers of creosote that obstruct the venting system. They will also inspect for animal entry, odours, and oil spots on the walls of the chimney stack.
Masonry chimneys are vulnerable to moisture, especially if they have been neglected for a long time. Chimney tuckpointing, which repairs the mortar joints between bricks, will help to protect the chimney from moisture damage and keep the structure stable. If the mortar begins to crumble, a chimney rebuild is likely needed.
4. Prevents Damage
Getting regular chimney maintenance can prevent damage to the interior and exterior of your home. Keeping your chimney in good repair will also extend its lifespan and make it more energy efficient.
The bricks of your chimney can experience damage through use and the elements. Moisture from rain, snow and wind can break down mortar and cause cracks in the bricks. Damaged bricks should be repaired immediately to avoid further deterioration and potential structural problems.
Creosote clings to the interior walls of your flue and can be a fire hazard. It can be sticky, puffy or flakey and is highly flammable. Having your chimney cleaned regularly will remove the creosote before it can damage your masonry.
Chimney flashing helps prevent water from running down the inside of your chimney and into living areas of your home. Having the flashing properly repaired will help protect your home and extend the life of your chimney. Waterproofing the chimney with a repellent helps prevent moisture from entering and damaging the masonry.