3 Hidden Dangers That May Be Lurking in Your Chimney
You see it just about everyday. It’s a beautiful chimney peeking up towards the sky adding a touch of elegance to your home as puffs of smoke billow atop. So your family is cozying up to a roaring fire in the fireplace without as much as a thought to the 3 hidden dangers that may be lurking in your chimney.
Creosote is a dark brown or black tarry substance that forms in the chimney when wood and other organic materials are burned. The problem with creosote is that it continues to accumulate every time you use the fireplace. Since it is combustible, burning embers can easily spark a fire resulting in the loss of lives and property. In fact, creosote build-up is the main cause of most chimney fires. And the accumulation of creosote can also block the chimney vent trapping carbon monoxide and other dangerous fumes in your home. The sure-fire way to eliminate this hidden danger is with regular chimney cleanings by a certified chimney sweep.
The chimney is the gateway to the outside world and it can become the adopted home for all sorts of critters and objects seeking refuge. And when small animals, birds, and debris collect in the chimney it can make it difficult to nearly impossible for smoke and fumes to escape. A blockage can also prevent the damper from operating properly, if at all. Many unsuspecting homeowners have been caught off-guard only to be alerted when smoke begins filling up a room. You can imagine how disastrous this could be if a chimney obstruction should occur when the fireplace or other wood-burning appliance is left unattended. A chimney cap along with annual chimney inspections can help prevent a dangerous obstruction.
Another hidden danger that may be lurking in your chimney is damage to the flue. This protective lining inside the chimney is to ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide are able to exit the house through the chimney. If the flue becomes cracked carbon monoxide, an odorless and colorless toxic gas known as the silent killer, can become trapped inside your home. Approximately, 20,000 people are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends homeowners install a digital carbon monoxide detector in their home.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America states that the use of chimney sweeping logs is not a substitute for annual chimney inspections.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110