Why Chimney Inspections Should Be a Normal Part of Your Budget
It seems like everywhere you turn, someone wants your money. But when it comes to having your chimney inspected, this might be the smartest money you ever spend. Here’s why.
All chimneys need annual inspections primarily for two reasons: 1. To detect structural problems and get them fixed before serious and expensive damage occurs, and 2. To determine the level of creosote and soot buildup along with other obstructions that will cause the fireplace system to operate inefficiently and possibly dangerously.
Damage to the chimney
A number of things can happen to the structure of a chimney that will compromise its integrity. Nowhere does the old saying “A stitch in time saves nine” apply better than to chimney inspections.
· Over time, mortar can begin to crack, which will eventually let in water, and that can cause serious damage down the line. In some cases, cracks can be layered over with a sealant; other times repair is necessary.
· Flue linings eventually deteriorate and need to be repaired or replaced.
· Bricks also are prone to deterioration. This is potentially as dangerous as cracks in the mortar and can result in the collapse of the entire chimney.
· The flashing that seals between the chimney and the roof can be damaged and let in water, which will cause structural damage to the home.
· Damaged chimney caps can let in water and debris, depending on the extent of the problem.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
More people in the U.S. each year are poisoned by carbon monoxide (CO) than any other poison. It’s odorless and invisible, and it can start harming humans and pets before anybody knows what’s going on. This gas comes from various sources, including wood-burning fireplaces that are in disrepair. What kind of situations can lead to CO poisoning?
· Obstructions in the chimney
· A damaged/deteriorating chimney
· A rusted heat exchanger
· A broken connector pipe
A through chimney inspection followed by cleaning and any necessary repairs is the only way to solve these potential problems.
Home heating equipment is responsible for about 15 percent of all house fires and about 17 percent of house-fire fatalities in the U.S. Among these fires, nearly 40 percent involve fireplaces, chimneys or chimney connectors.
Creosote and soot built up inside a chimney is the main cause of chimney fires, which can happen without people in the home being aware of it. Some fires are small and go out on their own, but not before starting damage within the chimney. At any point, a compromised chimney liner can allow intense heat to come into contact with surrounding house materials and create a catastrophic fire.
Only a certified chimney sweep can determine how much creosote is inside a chimney and be able to clean it out with the proper tools and equipment.
These are three very important reasons to make sure annual chimney inspections are in your household budget.
Guardian Chimney Sweep serves the greater Houston area with expert inspection, cleaning, repair and maintenance of all types of fireplace systems. Be safe, not sorry. Call us at (713) 401-2011 and arrange for a professional inspection.