Tips for New Homeowners with a Fireplace
Enjoying a new home can be exciting, especially when there’s a fireplace to enjoy in winter. Nothing feels like home more than snuggling up to a crackling fire when it’s cold outside. It’s very important, however, to first make sure it’s safe to light a fire. Otherwise, there is the possibility of a dangerous chimney blaze that could lead to an out-of-control house fire. There are other tips for new homeowners with a fireplace that are meant to prevent water damage and other problems, below:
Put Safety First
There may be requirements associated with the purchase of a home that supposedly ensure that the fireplace in your new home is safe, but scheduling a professional inspection is strongly recommended. One of the most common causes of a chimney fire is when occupants start a blaze, assuming everything is in good working order. In such cases, some type of chimney obstruction is often the problem.
There are three levels of chimney inspections. Our chimney professionals at Northeastern Chimney will provide an assessment and recommendation, as to which level of chimney inspection may be needed for your new home. If there is any sign of potential deterioration, a video inspection of the entire chimney lining may be needed. If there is even a tiny crack in the flue lining, combustible parts of the home become exposed to extreme temperatures, which can lead to a hazardous house fire.
When you’ve made certain your fireplace is safe to operate and the chimney will do the job of carrying out the combustion byproducts, it’s possible to enjoy your fireplace worry-free and completely at ease.
Install a Chimney Cap, if Needed
A chimney cap is an important accessory that performs several helpful functions. Does the fireplace in your new home have a chimney cap? If all you see at the top of your chimney is a clay flue or a round pipe, you probably need to have a chimney cap installed. A chimney cap:
- Prevents rain from pouring straight down your chimney, causing damage to the flue and rust on the dampers.
- Keeps unwanted critters from entering your home.
- Prevents the odors from droppings that occur when animals are unable to escape the chimney.
- Prevents the horrendous odor of a dead animal in your chimney.
- If it has wire mesh, a chimney cap acts as a spark guard, to prevent a loose spark from starting a fire on the roof.
Look for Possible Deterioration
A common mistake homeowners make, whether in a new home or not, is assuming that a fireplace is a highly durable feature that is safe to use without maintenance. In fact, repair is periodically needed, to prevent hazardous situations. The firebox, for instance, prevents house fires by protecting combustible materials from catching fire, same as the chimney flue. Over time, cracks, gouges, and holes can develop. It’s often possible to repair the firebox, though replacement is sometimes needed.
The chimney flashing on the roof should be checked regularly, to be sure there are no rusted areas that will allow moisture to seep through and cause structural damage to the roof.
If you are a new home owner with a fireplace and have any questions about your fireplace or chimney or if you need to schedule an inspection or chimney cleaning, contact our chimney experts today.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110