Winter is coming! And, it’s bringing with it long, cold nights perfect for snuggling in front of a wood-burning fire with a book and steaming mug of tea… binge-watching your favorite shows with family and friends… or even planning a romantic candlelight dinner for two. Until you start coughing and rubbing gritty eyes from excess smoke and soot billowing from the fireplace, that is!
If it’s been over a year since your last chimney inspection, you’re overdue. Contact a professional, licensed sweep from Atlanta Chimney Doctor today! Read on for three reasons to schedule a masonry repair inspection and chimney cleaning for your Roswell home today… before the cold weather arrives!
Safety & Security
First and foremost, maintaining your fireplace is one of the most important steps you must take to protect your family. The National Fire Protection Association conducts an in-depth survey of home heating fires every five years. Their recent findings were alarming – “Fireplaces, chimneys or chimney connecters were involved in one-third (32%) of reported home heating fires in 2009-2013. Failure to clean was a factor in two-thirds (68%) of such incidents.”
What Causes Wood-Burning Fireplaces to Fail?
- The number one danger is Creosote. The highly-flammable, black substance is created by tiny particles of unburned wood ash, carried up by rising smoke. The sticky material builds up on the chimney walls over time, and can catch fire or cause poor air-flow. Never use ‘green’ or freshly-cut wood in a fireplace. The excess water content in new wood increases the amount of creosote build-up and fire danger.
- Water is the next big danger for masonry chimneys. Frozen water expands, causing cracks to form in the walls of brick and mortar construction. In severe cases, broken brick and ice dams can result in blocked air-flow up the chimney causing smoky, polluted air to stay in the house.
- Animals and birds love nesting inside chimneys. Especially over the summer months when the fireplace gets little or no use. Not only do they get protection from the elements, they have access to the high ground to see possible threats and likely food sources. Nests of leaves and soil make great insulation for critters, but also create impenetrable air flow for your fire.
A blocked chimney is likely the reason your fire looks and feels sluggish, and why your eyes feel gritty. Fire requires adequate air flow to burn merrily for your comfort and enjoyment. It also needs an unobstructed path with cool air to draw the smoke up and out of the house.
A build-up of carbon monoxide in the home is the biggest threat. This insidious gas is colorless and odorless, causing severe respiratory issues, hospitalization, or worse.
Smoky air can also result in damage to a home’s interior. A professional cleaning service may be required to remove the residue and smell from walls, ceilings, carpets, and furniture.
Remodeling & Home Improvements
The NFPA recommends a fireplace inspection and cleaning a minimum of once per year. You’ll need to schedule an extra inspection for structural changes or a home remodel, especially if you plan to replace the fireplace insert.
In fact, upgrading your fireplace is the perfect opportunity to add resale value to your home while increasing energy-efficiency. Not only will you lower monthly bills, you’ll have a main selling feature when it’s time to move.
What to Expect?
A licensed, professional sweep will look for structural issues, creosote build-up, and other concerns that affect the performance of the fireplace. Contact the experts at Atlanta Chimney Doctor for chimney inspections in Roswell, GA, today, and be ready for those chilly winter nights!