The Effects Chimney Fires Have On Your Chimney
Chimney fires are destructive, and an alarming poll recently revealed that fire-damaged chimneys are common. The survey conducted by the Midwest Chimney Safety Council strongly suggests that, at any given time, there could be as many as 9,000 damaged chimneys in a single major metropolitan area. A myth that chimney fires help to control creosote buildup may be the culprit behind such a widespread threat to home safety. Read on to learn specifics about the effects that chimney fires have on chimneys.
Chimney Flue Damage
If a chimney flue has even a small crack, it is essential to have it either repaired or replaced. The job of a chimney flue is all about keeping the home safe. Nearby combustibles are protected from intense heat. Occupants of the home are kept safe from toxic, even deadly, combustion gases. A damaged flue, however, no longer offers those protections.
With that in mind, it is easier to understand why a fireplace or stove should never be used after a chimney fire until the chimney has been inspected by a chimney sweep expert. Minor deterioration that occurs to a chimney flue over time, though a serious matter, is nothing compared to the potential damage caused by a chimney fire.
When a chimney fire is fueled continuously due to a thick buildup of creosote on the walls of the chimney lining, the intense heat is extremely destructive. Chimney flues are often destroyed or, at the very least, suffer damage as a result of a chimney fire.
During the course of a chimney fire, if the chimney flue is destroyed, the flames are able to quickly spread into the home, threatening the lives of the occupants.
More Effects of a Chimney Fire on your Chimney
Although damage to the flue is the biggest threat when there is a major chimney fire, other types of damage can also occur, as follows:
- Prefabricated, factory-built metal chimneys easily sustain damage as a result of a chimney fire. Metal chimneys damaged by chimney fires must be replaced.
- Connector pipes on wood stoves often warp and buckle due to chimney fires and the pipes must be replaced.
- Dampers and other metal parts of a chimney can melt and warp as a result of a chimney fire, and replacement parts are necessary.
- Masonry can be damaged by intense chimney fires.
Signs there has been a Chimney Fire
Many chimney fires go completely undetected, though they can be quite explosive. Indications of a chimney fire include loud popping and cracking sounds or a noise like a nearby freight train or low-flying aircraft. Chimney fires often produce a large amount of dense smoke and create an intensely hot odor. Flames and dense smoke may be seen shooting from the chimney top.
The following are potential signs that there has been a chimney fire:
- Roofing material that is melted or damaged.
- The creosote inside the flue looks like a honeycomb or appears to be puffy.
- The television dish or antenna has signs of heat damage.
- You see broken pieces of flue tile on the floor of your firebox.
- Shards and flakes of creosote are in the firebox, on the roof, or on the ground around the house.
Contact Guardian Chimney Sweeps
The best way to avoid a chimney fire is to schedule annual chimney inspections. This is an essential safety step all chimney experts in the US agree on. Also, schedule routine chimney cleaning to prevent dangerous creosote buildup. If you live in the Houston area, contact the certified technicians at Guardian Chimney Sweeps. Call us today tollfree at (888) 306-6069. Conroe residents can call (936) 271-9781, and our Houston number is (713) 401-2011. We care about your home safety and work hard to achieve 100% customer satisfaction.