No Penny Pinching on Chimney Inspections
What’s Not a Good Penny-Pinching Decision?
You Guessed It – Proper Chimney Maintenance and Chimney Inspections are NOT something to skimp on.
Families today are finding all kinds of new ways to save money because the funds coming in seem to disappear as quickly as a puff of smoke. Errands are being planned and coordinated carefully to avoid unnecessary drive time. Fewer restaurant meals are being enjoyed, and homemade meal planning is back in style. People are even driving dirty cars more than previously, to save money at the car wash.
But there’s one area in which families with fireplaces should not cut corners and that’s by caring for the fireplace and chimney yourself rather than hiring a chimney sweep. The standards set out by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) clearly state that fireplaces, chimneys, and vents should be inspected at least annually by a qualified technician. Many people have the mistaken idea that a homeowner with a good ladder can be his own chimney sweep and do as good a job as a professional. But there are plenty of reasons why proper equipment and experience are needed to give a chimney a reliable cleaning and inspection.
The function of your chimney is to provide an unhindered path for smoke and gases to escape from your fireplace, furnace, or stove and into the out-of-doors. It also plays the important role of shielding other parts of your home from the heat and flames. A professional chimney sweep knows what to look for when inspecting a chimney and can see things that a layperson may not recognize as a potential breach in the protection that the chimney provides.
What are some common problems that may be effecting your chimney?
· Flue tiles could be broken, cracked, or missing.
· Bricks could be broken or missing, and mortar may have deteriorated.
· There may be a hairline crack in your tile flue liner which could widen and expose your home to excessive heat. (Heat or flames that seep through your chimney could cause your house to catch on fire.)
· Chunks or flakes from masonry that’s deteriorating or metal that’s rusting could build up in an elbow of the flue passageway and block the exhaust of gas from combustibles.
· If you don’t have a screen around your chimney cap or if it’s been compromised, animals could be sheltering in your chimney. Snakes, raccoons, squirrels, and birds have all been known to nest in chimneys.
· Oftentimes, people who have a stove or fireplace insert are in danger because the appliances are installed incorrectly. If excess heat radiates into walls or floors that are combustible, pyrolysis may occur, which decreases the temperature at which the materials will ignite.
· Chimney sweeps have the proper equipment to give your chimney a thorough cleaning, to eliminate debris in your flue and chimney system which could ignite and cause damage.
Convinced that you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to your chimney and fireplace?
Good! Now, be aware that the demand for CSIA certified chimney sweeps is great throughout the summer and hits a peak just before the onset of winter months. Plan well ahead of time so that your chimney can be inspected before the summer season is over. And be at ease about the expense; hiring a professional chimney sweep trained in spotting potential problems could prevent your home from going up in smoke.
How long since your chimney was inspected? Annual Chimney Inspections are a good idea, to maintain safe and efficient operation of your chimney system.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110