Don’t Sweep Chimney Problems Under the Rug
Like all household appliances, fireplaces are affected by age and use. But unlike a window lever that has started to squeak or a retractable deck canopy that moves sluggishly, fireplace and chimney problems can be very serious. The entire unit should be professionally inspected once a year, and between inspections – or if you’ve yet to schedule your first one – here are a few things to watch.
Moisture in your Fireplace
If you ever notice water on the floor of the firebox, it’s a clue that there might be a much larger problem than your eyes can see. Rain water from outside can seep into a chimney with cracks or holes in the brick. Any moisture getting into the system can begin to cause all kinds of damage. Along with water in the firebox, look for rust and smell for any unusual odors.
House settling effects Chimney
Houses inevitably settle over the years. Usually this isn’t a problem. But sometimes settling can affect a chimney, causing parts of it to crack or become compromised in other ways. A gap in the flue system can let harmful carbon monoxide to enter the house. Because there are many parts of a chimney that homeowners can’t see, a professional inspection is necessary to spot problems resulting from settling.
Debris and animals in your Chimney?
A good chimney cap will keep large objects from getting into the chimney, but it won’t prevent everything. Various debris can wind up inside a chimney and start creating an obstruction. Debris also is excellent tinder to increase the ignition of a fire should one start. Small animals believe chimneys are great places for nests during the spring and summer. You don’t need any kind of debris or live or dead animals in your chimney.
Creosote in your Chimney is Dangerous
If your fireplace burns wood, then it creates creosote, a toxic byproduct of smoke that is flammable. This substance is sticky and clings to the walls of the chimney or chimney liner, building up over time. A large buildup that is set on fire can result in a major disaster. Fortunately, an annual cleaning by a certified chimney sweep will prevent this huge potential problem.
It’s very important to pay close attention to your fireplace and chimney and not ignore problems or “sweep them under the rug.” You wouldn’t keep driving your car after hearing weird squealing and knocking sounds under the hood, and you shouldn’t keep using a fireplace that is showing signs that it’s not safe. But beyond that, often there are problems with fireplaces that the average homeowner can’t spot but that can lead to disaster down the line.
Hudson Valley Chimney of Poughkeepsie is in business to keep your fireplace and chimney safe and fully operational. We provide complete cleaning, inspection, maintenance and repair of all types of fireplaces and stoves. If it’s time for a little TLC for your fireplace, call us at (845) 471-1071.