During the cold winter months, many families love getting cozy next to a fire. It is probably the one time in the year that your fireplace actually gets put to good use. However, like everything, your chimney encounters wear and tear each year. Taking care of your chimney is important, which is why we’ve put together our top 5 reasons to get a chimney inspection and repair before winter hits.
The main contributing factor that leads to home fires is from the simple act of not cleaning your chimney. Fire deposits creosote, which builds up day after day inside of the chimney. It is a dark brown or black residue that comes in many forms. It can be flaky and ashy, in the consistency of tar, sticky or even hardened. However, it is extremely combustible and can catch flames from even the smallest spark.
What’s even more dangerous about creosote is that it can burn for extended periods of time in high temperatures.
Since chimney fires are one of the most undetectable fires, they can cause serious structural damage before being noticed. If it goes undetected for long enough time, it can even spread to other areas of your home.
Since winter is a time when we use our chimneys the most, get an inspection to make sure that it is clean and safe for use.
As we mentioned, most chimney fires go undetected. This means that you may have had one that previously caused damage to your chimney. Getting a chimney inspection before winter is a great way to make sure that you are all set for the cold months. Especially because if you continue to use your chimney when there is existing damage, it is more likely to deteriorate faster and turn into a serious problem. When problems get more severe, they also get more expensive.
Other common problems that can be addressed during an inspection are damaged flue liners, cracked crowns and general structural damages. Repairing these prior to winter will help keep your costs down over time.
Heating your home can be expensive, which is why having a fireplace is a great asset during the winter months. However, if your chimney is damaged or dirty, it won’t work as efficiently when it comes to heating your home. This is why it’s crucial to get an inspection prior to winter. If there is any damage or if it is overly dirty, getting it cleaned or fixed is highly recommended.
Having an efficient working chimney system also reduces that amount of carbon monoxide that enters your home. When your chimney is not running at full efficiency, smoke can get trapped and come into your home. This smoke contains traces of carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas. Ensuring full efficiency helps to make sure that these gases are being led outside rather than indoors with your family.
Chimneys are a surprisingly common place for animals to build their nests on or even inside of. It’s not surprising to find raccoons, birds and other small animals living inside of chimneys. Additionally, during the warmer months a high level of debris can accumulate.
Unfortunately, neither of these things creates a well-ventilated chimney. When this happens, carbon monoxide gets trapped and can put your family in danger. Getting a chimney inspection prior to winter months will give you the piece of mind that everything is safe and in order.
Finally, one of the most important reasons to make sure that you get your chimney inspected is to make sure you adhere to the insurance requirements that are common for most homeowner’s insurance.
A lot of people don’t realize that having an annual inspection and cleaning is part of your policy’s yearly requirements. If something was to happen and you haven’t been getting annual inspections, most insurance providers won’t cover the cost of repair. This is why we also recommend keeping the proof of yearly inspections and cleanings somewhere safe. While it is not required to get these annual check ups at a specific time of the year, we recommend doing so right before winter so that you can prepare for the harsh weather ahead.
If you’re looking for a professional to get the job done right, call us at Chicago Tuckpointing. We can be reached at (708) 942-1951 or by visiting our website at chicagotuckpointinginc.com.