Spring is here, which means it’s time for spring-cleaning and taking care of all the things that can keep your home clean and safe. One major way to do this is to have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually.
Keeping Your Family Safe
There are several good reasons to have your chimney cleaned and inspected, and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that you have this job done at least annually. The number one reason to have this job done is to get the creosote buildup cleared away. If you use your fireplace, you’re going to have a creosote buildup, and that can prove to be a very dangerous situation for you and your family members. When you burn, smoke is released. That’s because wood, no matter how long it’s cured, is going to have some moisture left in it, and that moisture gets released in the combustion process along with a variety of chemicals. As that warm, moist mix hits the cool interior of your chimney, it condenses and starts to form a layer of gunk, and over time and fireplace use, that layer gets thicker and thicker. That layer of grit is creosote, and when it hits an eighth of an inch, it becomes a hazard because it’s extremely flammable. That means that all it takes is a random spark and you can have a devastating chimney fire.
Now, fortunately, most chimney fires don’t reach this stage of devastation. If you’re picturing flames roaring out the top of your chimney, with flames spreading to the rooftop, then you’re imagining the worst case scenario, and that usually doesn’t happen. That’s not to say it can’t happen, but most chimney fires don’t get enough oxygen to burn for too long, and that’s dangerous, too. A small chimney fire can go undetected, and that means that there may be damage to the interior of the chimney that isn’t getting fixed. This could mean that there are cracks in the chimney liner or damage to the structure of the chimney that could be letting some of the smoke or dangerous gases back into your home. And that means that your family might be getting sick from those fumes.
Another thing that might threaten your family’s safety is chimney blockages. A chimney cap is an important tool that can help prevent blockages. Your chimney cap [https://www.angieslist.com/articles/5-reasons-install-chimney-cap.htm] sits on top of the chimney crown, and it is designed like a little building with a sloped roof and mesh sides. The sloped roof directs precipitation away from the chimney opening, and the meshed sides keep critters, debris, leaves, and twigs out of your chimney while allowing smoke to leave. If your chimney cap isn’t in good condition, if it’s loose, or rusted, or twisted, it won’t be doing the job it’s designed for. Or it could be that you don’t even have a chimney cap. Although it’s an important part of the chimney system, it isn’t a built on part, and that means that your chimney might not have one. If this is the case, debris and critters could be getting down into your chimney and leaving blockages. In fact, animals are often attracted to chimneys because they’re great places to build nests and raise families, out of the path of wind, precipitation, and predators. When they leave their nests behind, the nests dry out and become fire hazards, just like the dried leaves, twigs, and debris can become. When you have your chimney inspected, we can use video equipment to make sure that there is nothing blocking your chimney, making the fire burn less efficiently and waiting to catch a spark and start a fire.
Go With The Best
Spring is here, so now is a great time to give Chimney Concepts a call to set up an appointment to have your chimney inspected and cleaned. Even if you want to wait a while to have the actual job done, by calling now you can pick a time that’s convenient for you, before our spring calendar starts to fill up. That’s an easy thing to cross off your spring to-do list!