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3 Reasons Annual Chimney Inspections are Crucial

chimney inspectionFor many people in the U.S., this is a tough economic time and budgets are getting tighter.  If you have a fireplace and are unsure about whether the expense of an annual chimney inspection is truly necessary, there are three things you should know.  Getting an annual chimney inspection can:

  1. Prevent a house fire,
  2. Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and
  3. Greatly reduce the cost of needed repairs.

One – Prevent a House Fire

A chimney inspection reveals problems which can cause chimney fires, such as a cracked flue lining.   Because of the potential threat of chimney fires, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that all chimneys be inspected annually.

In comprehensive NFPA reports about home fires, statistics show that every year thousands of house fires are caused because of blazes that started in chimneys that had been neglected.

  • In 2011, of the 370,000 home fires which occurred, 53,600 of them involved heating equipment.
  • From 2006 thru 2010, 38% of home heating fires involved chimneys, chimney connectors, or fireplaces.  In 55% of those incidents, a failure to clean the chimney was a factor.

When people experience chimney fires, they don’t realize what a danger they are.  Due to the extremely high temperatures in a chimney fire, the chimney structure can be damaged.  A damaged chimney makes a house susceptible because combustible materials can be exposed and catch fire, especially because of the intensity of the blaze in a chimney fire.  These types of fires spread quickly through a home, and sometimes occupants don’t have time to safely evacuate.

Our chimney sweeps are licensed and certified professionals who are trained to identify hazards in a chimney system.  It’s best to get your chimney inspected in spring or summer so that if repairs are needed, you can make sure they are completed before the return of cold weather.

Two – Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The leading cause of poisoning fatalities in the U.S. is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.  Deaths from CO poisoning are especially tragic because they are 100% preventable; all that is needed is a carbon dioxide alarm.  Without an alarm, there is little warning that dangerous, even deadly levels of CO could fill the air.  These toxic fumes are colorless, odorless, and tasteless.   In addition, symptoms aren’t immediately evident.  Certain problems with chimneys can cause a home to fill with CO.

Fatigue, confusion, nausea, and headaches are symptoms of exposure to dangerous levels of CO.  Children are most susceptible to death or to suffering heart damage or brain damage as a result of carbon dioxide poisoning.

Among the chimney problems which can cause exposure to carbon dioxide are a blocked or deteriorating chimney, a broken chimney connector pipe, and a rusted heat exchanger.

Three – Greatly Reduce the Cost of Needed Repairs water damage

While  masonry can easily last a century, other components of a chimney system are not as durable and need to be repaired at various intervals.  When problems go unresolved, the cost to have them fixed usually rises considerably.  If the chimney flashing is no longer keeping moisture out, significant structural damage can occur.

Moisture is the major culprit in most types of chimney damage.  The sooner the problem is identified, the sooner it can be resolved and put a stop to an escalation of damages.

Contact us today if you need a chimney inspection.  We will do a thorough check of your chimney system and help you gain peace of mind both that your fireplace or wood stove is safe to use and, if needed, that your money has been spent for a crucial purpose.

Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110
Phone: 860-233-5770

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