Chimney linings are usually made of ceramic, cement, or clay. This means that, after time, the lining can become cracked and damaged. Once the flue is damaged, you’re susceptible to the combustion byproducts that would normally be vented to the outside. These byproducts include toxic gases that can seep into your home as well as flammable products that could put you and your home in danger. A regular inspection ensures areas of concern so that you can determine whether repair or flue replacement is necessary.
Identify Fire Hazards
One of your biggest concerns should be the potential of a chimney fire, which in certain conditions could spread to your home. Creosote naturally builds up in the flue because it’s a natural by-product of burning wood. Creosote is flammable and if the buildup is not removed periodically the layers will build on each other. Embers going up through the chimney can light this thick layer of creosote which could cause the entire chimney to be engulfed in flames. A chimney inspection will identify if and when the chimney needs to be cleaned in order to prevent a fire.
A chimney inspection before you begin lighting a fire for the season is important because it’s possible that there are pest inhabiting your chimney. Birds and rodents often build nests in chimneys during the summer and obstruct the chimney. This obstruction can cause dangerous fumes to enter your home and cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, pests can damage the crown, cap, and masonry of your chimney if they’re not detected early on.
Frequent use of your fireplace and chimney as well as wear and tear from changing weather conditions can affect the structural integrity of your chimney. A regular inspection will help identify areas of weakness due to normal use so that cracks and other damage can be repaired before your chimney is significantly weakened.
A flue damper is an important component of your chimney because it allows smoke to leave and prevents cold air from entering the home when the fireplace isn’t in use. It’s important that the flue can be easily opened and closed so that the fire is vented properly. Flue damper problems will be identified and addressed during a regular chimney inspection.