A wood-burning fireplace creates creosote build-up, making the attached chimney is a key concern when it comes to safety and performance. Chimneys have a lot more issues than fireplaces and therefore need a lot more attention. An annual chimney inspection is the first step of that attention. Here are three benefits.
Benefit #1. You’ll keep creosote at a minimum in your chimney flue
Creosote is a flammable substance that forms in the flue when smoke condenses during fireplace use. Creosote can be sticky, flakey, puffy or solid and is the cause of most chimney fires each year. In addition to fire, creosote can damage internal components and areas of your chimney due to its highly acidic nature. Finally, large creosote buildups will narrow the flue passage and impede drafting, possibly sending smoke and dangerous carbon monoxide into your home. A chimney inspector will assess the level of creosote in your flue and recommend proper cleaning, if necessary.
Benefit #2. You’ll know about early signs of damage and malfunction
You can spot obvious signs of problems with your chimney and its components – deteriorated bricks, warped chimney flashing, etc. – but a licensed chimney inspection will look at more than just the obvious. An experienced chimney inspector will assess your chimney structure, all its components, its ability to draft properly and many other elements that are important in keeping your chimney safe. If a problem is found, the inspector will explain it to you and go over the right way to address it with you. In most cases, chimney inspectors can handle necessary repair work and/or chimney cleaning.
Benefit #3. You’ll know if your flue is full of outside debris
If you run your chimney without a chimney cap, you may have an issue with debris coming in from the outside. Common debris includes leaves, twigs and falling fruit from nearby trees as well as the nesting materials of small animals and the animals themselves. As with excess creosote, a buildup of debris materials can significantly narrow your chimney flue and cause smoke backups and possibly carbon monoxide poisoning to you and your family and pets. Debris also serves as fuel should a chimney fire start. An inspection will tell you if you need to have debris cleaned out. If your chimney has no cap, your inspector will recommend having one installed to prevent debris issues in the future.
Your chimney inspector is there to help
The chimney inspection benefits we listed above are important. But possibly the best benefit of scheduling annual chimney inspections is the peace of mind you’ll have knowing that your chimney has been checked out, repaired if needed and properly cleaned so that it runs with optimal safety and performance. When looking for a local chimney inspector, the place to start is with chimney sweeps or chimney service companies, most of whom provide chimney inspections. Confirm that the company or individual is licensed and fully insured. Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace of Kansas City, KS, provides expert chimney cleaning, chimney leak repair, chimney rebuilding and, of course, licensed chimney inspections. Put our team on your side for your next chimney inspection or chimney project. Call (913) 236-7141 to make an appointment or to get more information about our business and services.