Having a home with a fireplace and chimney is a great asset. It provides a place for you and your family to gather during the colder months and share close moments. It is a way for you to efficiently heat your home and add an unbeatable ambiance. However, having a fireplace means that you need to take extra precautions in order to keep everyone safe. This is why we recommend taking a proactive approach to chimney inspections.
In order to keep everything in working order, we recommend cleaning your chimney at the very least once a year. If you use your chimney frequently or burn certain types of wood you should definitely try and clean your chimney at least once a month. The factors will depend on the specifics of your home and the frequency of use. If you tend to use your fireplace for heat during the winter by burning wood, clean it more often otherwise, once a year should suffice. Here are our top benefits to keeping a proactive approach to chimney inspections and cleanings.
Since your chimney is internal a lot of problems can occur without you knowing. This is especially true when you move into a new home since you have no record of when the last chimney inspection was. By taking a proactive approach to chimney inspections, you can make sure that your chimney is clean and clear of any obstructions. We recommend hiring a professional to do this, since they are more experienced in detecting problems.
One thing that is difficult to assess on your own is the flue liner. It is the part of your chimney that carries away all of the toxic fumes and smoke instead of it entering your home. You need to make sure that it is clean and completely intact otherwise the safety of you and your family may be compromised. If there is a build-up of debris and combustible materials you will also be at risk for fires.
Another thing that causes detrimental house fires is the accumulation of creosote. Creosote is a flammable waste residue that builds up over time from the use of your fireplace and chimney. It lines your chimney and flue liner and should be cleaned and removed periodically along with your inspections. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that you should clean your chimney after no more than 1/8” of creosote build-up1.
The easiest way to be proactive with your chimney inspections is making sure that there is nothing blocking the way of exit. When your chimney is not in use, it’s common for small animals to build nests and for leaves and other debris to build up. Whenever there is an obstruction, smoke and toxic fumes can’t exit and will instead enter your home. One of these toxic fumes is carbon monoxide, which is an odorless and invisible substance. It is fatal and can lead to death if you are exposed to too much. This is another reason that you should absolutely make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working properly. Make sure that all of your detectors have working batteries and are in close proximity to your fireplace and other appliances.
A great reason to be proactive is because of the efficiency of home heating. When your chimney is dirty and obstructed, your home won’t be heated as well. This is because creosote accumulation actually decreases efficiency. It creates a higher circulation of cool air and means you need to burn more wood in order to maintain a well heated home. If you want to save money on gas bills and have a nice cozy home, make sure that you are proactive.
Finally, proactive chimney inspections will allow you to avoid costly repairs. When you get your chimney professionally cleaned, and remove debris and buildup, it will help reduce the chances of needing an expensive repair. Reducing wear and tear will lead to a decrease in chances of premature repairs. It’s always best not to wait until things are bad to take action.
If you take a proactive approach to chimney inspections, you’ll end up saving hundreds of dollars a year on costly repairs or damages. Additionally, since many things can go wrong when it comes to fire, having a proactive approach ensures that you and your family remain safe. If you think that your fireplace needs updating, repairs or restoration, give us a call at Chicago Tuckpointing Inc. We have highly trained professionals ready to help you with everything you need. Call today at 708-942-1951 or by visiting our website chicagotuckpointinginc.com.