3 Signs You Need a Chimney Inspection
There is nothing cozier on a winter evening than relaxing in front of a fireplace. The scent of the burning wood, the crackling sounds, and the warmth of the hearth offer luxurious comfort on chilly days. But, if your chimney has maintenance issues, there is an increasing risk of a house fire, exposure to toxic fumes and additional structural damages. Many people don’t realize that they need repairs until their chimneys have sustained severe damage. That’s why chimney inspections are vital. If you notice any of the following three signs, contact Hudson Valley Chimney to schedule a chimney inspection as soon as possible.
Water in the Firebox
When you spot water in the firebox, moisture along the walls inside the chimney or water stains, it is a sign you need a chimney inspection. While a water leak may be something as simple as forgetting to close the damper after putting out the fire, it is not something you should ignore. The more you wait, the more you risk of severe water-related issues like a rusted damper, spalling bricks, mold, and other problems. A poorly installed, blown off or damaged chimney cap, cracked chimney crown, deteriorated mortar, and chimney cracks are the leading causes of water leaks. Our certified chimney professionals can pinpoint the source of a water leak for a quick repair.
Unpleasant Odor from the Fireplace
A smelly fireplace can create an uncomfortable atmosphere in your home. One common cause is negative air pressure. The draft flow rate determines the air flow through the chimney. It is the difference between the inside and outside air pressure flowing through the chimney. If there is negative air pressure, it can cause downdrafts which can push smoke and foul odors into your home. Other causes of unpleasant odors are excessive soot and creosote accumulation, decaying pests inside the flue, and moisture. An unpleasant smell coming from the fireplace is not typical and should be inspected by a qualified chimney professional.
Cracks in the Masonry
Cracks in the masonry and spalling or missing bricks can cause additional structural issues and other dangers. It can allow toxic gases from the fire to seep in your home and cause respiratory problems. Even small cracks are enough to allow heat to spread to combustible building materials that can cause a house fire. Cracks in the masonry will continue to grow bigger and can even result in a total chimney collapse. The freeze-thaw effect, improper construction, and weather conditions are the primary causes of cracks in the masonry or brickwork. A chimney inspection is necessary to determine the extent of the damage. Our expert chimney masons can repair cracks in the masonry, and replace cracked and missing bricks for the safe operation of your fireplace.
These are just some but not all the signs indicating that you need a chimney inspection. If you have been using your chimney regularly and you suddenly notice something unusual, schedule a chimney inspection right away. Only a qualified chimney professional can determine the root cause of the problem to prevent further damage and more costly repairs in the future.