Your chimney is constructed of various parts, each responsible for handling a specific task. If a particular part is in need of repair you will need to get it fixed immediately. There is no good reason to risk running into serious problems such as a fire or exposure to harmful gasses.
One of the main parts you will need to keep in working condition is the chimney's flue. It is responsible for allowing gasses, smoke, and heat to escape the chimney and out into the environment. It is common for flues to become blocked over time. When this happens smoke will start backing up into your living room. In addition to the smoke, there will also be hazardous gasses you definitely do not want your family to breathe in.
One of the most harmful gasses is carbon monoxide. If the flue is seriously blocked and you keep using the fireplace, CO levels can rise dramatically and be lethal. Humans are prone to suffering headaches, nausea, dizziness, and other symptoms when lower levels of carbon monoxide are present.
The flue can become blocked for various reasons. In most cases it is mainly because soot or debris has accumulated. Sometimes birds will infiltrate and build a nest which will block the flue. No matter what the cause, it is important to get the problem fixed immediately for the health of you and your family.
If you have a masonry chimney there is the risk the mortar will eventually break down allowing cracks to develop. If that happens, you will have problems with dampness in the interior of your home. If the problem is left alone the moisture will only spread and lead to more expensive repairs.
If the masonry of your chimney starts deteriorating you may notice pieces of debris falling. It could be sand, tar, brick, or mortar. If you notice anything falling, call a professional to come check out the problem.
Many homeowners realise the benefits of installing a chimney cap. It helps keep fires from starting on the roof or lawn. It also helps keep birds and other pests from entering the chimney. It is best for you to ensure a new chimney cap is installed and sized correctly so it does its job correctly.
As you can see, there are various parts of your chimney you will need to keep a check on. If any of these parts need repair, then have it done as soon as possible. There are many different problems that can occur if you procrastinate with repairs.
If you have a fireplace, then it is important for you to have your chimney inspected periodically. It is best to have it done at least once every year. There are many different reasons you should have this done. Keep reading to learn about some of them.
First, you should know that creosote can build up in your chimney. If it accumulates too much, then it can cause a wide range of problems. Your chimney may catch on fire and the fire can quickly spread to other areas of your home. No homeowner wants this to happen of course.
This is not the only problem creosote buildup can cause. Carbon monoxide is produced whenever you are burning a fire. The chimney allows it to escape from your home, but the buildup can keep this from happening. The carbon monoxide would then start accumulating in your home. This is very dangerous since you cannot see or smell this gas and it is very deadly.
You should also know that obstructions can occur in your chimney. These obstructions can keep it from doing its job properly. Birds commonly build their nests in these locations. Other pests can also cause obstructions. Having your chimney inspected is a good way to find these obstructions before they cause any problems.
Various parts of your chimney structure can also break down over time. Some of these components include the damper, liner, or cap. The masonry of the structure may also become damaged. You will want them fixed as soon as possible because they can cause serious problems.
One particular area of interest is your chimney flashing. This is responsible for providing a seal between your roof and chimney. You want it to do its job properly or rain and melting snow will be allowed to penetrate your home. A routine inspection would help keep this from happening.
One of the final reasons to have routine chimney inspections is because it will help to ensure your fireplace is operating at maximum efficiency. You do not want the chimney to draft air out of your home improperly either. This could cause smoke to accumulate in your home.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons you should have routine chimney inspections. You do not want creosote buildup to cause a chimney fire which can spread to other areas of your home do you? Carbon monoxide entering the living areas of your house as the result of improper ventilation is another major issue you do not want to occur. Get your chimney inspected for these issues and more!
Whenever your chimney is in need of repair, you will need to get an estimate before actually getting it fixed. There are certain guidelines you need to adhere to when it comes to getting chimney repair estimates. Keep reading to learn about some of them.
First and foremost, whenever you call someone to come out and estimate the cost of your chimney repair, you will need to be home when they arrive. It is possible they may need to get inside your home to inspect your fireplace. They will not be able to do that unless you are there to open the door for them.
While the professional is inspecting your chimney, you will want to stick around. It is best for you to observe him while he works. Although most people in the business are true professionals, there will be bad characters like in every field.
You will want to talk to the person providing you with the estimate. Ideally, you will want to work with someone who communicates well and is easy to get along with. If you find the professional at your home not to have these qualities, then you may want to look for a replacement.
Whenever the estimator is talking to you, it is important for you to ask questions. You may not understand everything you are being told. However, it is important that you do understand everything. If the estimator is unwilling to break things down so you can understand them, then you should look for someone else.
After being provided with your chimney repair estimate, you want to ask the professional how long he expects the work to take. It is also a good idea to see if the work is backed up with a warranty and how long that warranty actually lasts.
There will probably be plenty of companies in your area willing to come out and give you a chimney repair estimate. You need to make your decision carefully. One thing you need to look at is the amount of time the company has been in business. You may also want to check online to see if there have been any complaints made about the company recently.
These are a few guidelines for getting a chimney repair estimate. Make sure you are home at the time of the estimate so you can let the estimator look at your fireplace if he needs to. You may also want to get more than one estimate so you can get a good idea of what the repair should really cost.
Another one of the common problems you may face with your chimney is having a blockage in the flue of your chimney.
A roaring fire on a cold winter day is one of the most comforting things of life. A fireplace is an asset to the house and is something that can be enjoyed by the whole family. However, care must be taken to have your chimney repaired on a regular basis and you have to ensure that it is done on a periodic basis to ensure the safety of your family.
The job of a chimney is to draw all the smoke and the various gasses that a fire produces and emit is out of the safety of your home. This is essential as some of the gases that a fire can produce tend to be dangerous as well as fatal. Among these, carbon monoxide is considered as the most dangerous which if inhaled in larger quantities, can also tend to be fatal.
Apart from this, a chimney is also required to channel the excess heat into the air outside. As most of the components of the house are generally combustible which makes it absolutely essential for the excessive heat to be removed from the house.
This is why it is necessary to ensure that chimney is repaired properly and on a regular basis. Places like Reading face chilling winters and the inhabitants need to maintain cleanliness and proper repair of chimneys. Chimney repair professionals have profound knowledge and experience in this realm and provide unmatched services related to any kind of issues in chimneys.
Listed below are some of the common problems that you will encounter with chimneys.
Creosote is the after effect of setting solids like wood on fire. Usage over a long period of time can cause a large build-up which is also inflammable. Ignition of this oil can cause a fire in your chimney with no escape outlet, potentially rendering this problem as fatal to life as well as property.
Another one of the common problems you may face with your chimney is having a blockage in the flue of your chimney. The causes of this blockage can be debris from any of the materials that are dislodged in your chimney or it can even be due to the nests of some birds. The smallest of blockages can create problems with the channeling of heat, smoke and gases out of your house.
Cracks in the Flue
Some of the gases emitted by fires can be corrosive in nature and with time can create potential problems in the flow of gases. There are chances that some of the gases can seep back into the house and can cause health problems to the members of your family.
Having a chimney liner installed at home is one of few essential components that one cannot compromise with. There are several essential components of a chimney liner that needs to be used properly so that the final effects of the chimney liner are good.
It is essential for the fuel burning system of the home. A chimney liner can include some essential components, such as the fuel burning appliances, which includes fireplace, gas/oil burning furnace, wood-stove, or even a combination of some of these venting appliances to single chimney along with the chimney liner, chimney flue, chimney structure, additional controlling features like fans, thermostats and dampers, together with some external features like dampers of top-sealing and chimney caps.
It is very important for all the components of a chimney liner to be in proper size and shape in relation to other parts. This will make the process of operation much easier, and it would also be safer for the home, considering the fact that the appliance will burn its fuel more efficiently. If any of the parts of a chimney liner system has not been sized properly, it could create problems eventually due to back flow of the noxious smoke and gases into the house and improper draft. If the chimney liner has been made using the best materials and has also been sized properly, chances are that it would improve overall venting of the combustion gases from the fireplace, furnace or wood-stove. The furnace manufacturer would be able to comment on the required diameter of the chimney liner that should be venting the appliance in order to ensure its effective and smooth operation.
If the chimney liner is narrower than usual for the chosen appliance, its venting effects will not be as good as it should; the liner will fail to carry smoke and combustion products properly up the flue that might eventually cause inefficient burning of fuel, leakage of the gases into the house and accumulation of moisture and creosote in the chimney liner. Similarly, if the chimney liner is too large compared to the normal size, it might inhibit the process of proper venting as it would not be able to heat up well from its bottom to the top to create a stronger updraft through the chimney.
Insulation plays a crucial role on how the chimney liner would affect venting. The chimney liner must be insulated from its top to the bottom in case if it has been built on the outside walls of the house. However, if the chimney has been surrounded by some insulated rooms, it would be important to have the chimney liner properly insulated for that particular potion of a chimney that has an extension leading to the un-insulated roofline.
Effective chimney liners would allow all the combustion gases to vent up the chimney to its top from where it would leave the house. This would slow down down-draft that is often caused as a result of cooler gases at the top of chimney to provide healthier updraft to pull smoke and gases out and keep the house cleaner.
Using your chimney and fireplace can certainly help keep you warm during the winter months. However, using them can also lead to disaster in the form of a house fire. That is why it is very important for you to maintain and operate your chimney and fireplace properly.
One good way to ensure your chimney stays in good condition is to get a liner. A chimney liner will perform a variety of functions designed to help protect your chimney.
Whenever you burn a fire in your fireplace, it will obviously generate a lot of heat. The structure surrounding the fireplace made from brick or wood can easily succumb to this heat. It may catch fire if temperatures rise too much, but a chimney liner will help keep this from happening since it helps insulate from the heat.
A chimney liner will also help protect the inside of the chimney itself. Whenever you burn a fire, a lot of acidic gasses will be produced. These gasses can easily degrade brick and mortar if they come into contact with them. A liner will help keep the gasses from causing any damage until they escape into the environment.
An unlined chimney will degrade very quickly. Minor problems will not be much of a hassle to repair. However, repairs would become much more expensive as the problem gets worse.
A chimney liner is also responsible for transporting other harmful gasses out of the fireplace and into the environment. Unlined chimneys may have a problem doing this properly. Therefore, these harmful byproducts of wood burning can accumulate in your home and lead to health problems.
It is important to note there are various types of chimney liners. They include metal, concrete, and clay liners. Each one offers a few advantages and disadvantages when compared to its counterparts.
For example, concrete liners are very durable. You likely will not have any problems with them cracking like clay liners. However, concrete designs cannot be taken out since they are ultimately permanent. Metal liners also offer durability. They are usually made from aluminium or stainless steel. Clay liners are very popular. This is mainly due to the fact they are the least expensive solution. As mentioned though, they can crack over time and need to be repaired or replaced.
Chimneys on newer model homes are usually installed properly. If you have an older home though, it is possible you do not have a liner inside your chimney. You may want to consider having one installed in order to prevent problems in the future.
Many homeowners pay little attention to the cleanliness of their chimney. However, an unexpected chimney or house fire will surely get their attention quickly. Keeping your chimney clean will help prevent problems from developing in the future.
Every homeowner will have different burning habits, which will dictate how often the chimney will need to be cleaned. If you tend to have slower-burning fires, then your chimney will need to be cleaned out more often.
More solids are combined with the smoke traveling up your chimney whenever the fire burns slowly and is deprived of oxygen. If you regularly burn hotter fires, then your chimney will only need to be cleaned out once a year.
In order to clean your chimney you will need to brush the inside of it to get debris out. You will need a chimney brush to do this. The particular size you need will depend on the size of your chimney. You will also need other equipment such as ropes. All of the equipment you need is available at your local hardware of fireplace equipment store.
Homeowners have to go up on their roof to clean their chimney. This is very hazardous, so you will need to be extra careful. A steep roof and carelessness is a bad combination. It is best for you to wear shoes which have rubber soles since they will provide more traction. You should clean your chimney before the winter rolls around since it will be cold and probably icy by then which will only increase the danger of working on your roof.
Whenever you clean your chimney you do not want all of the debris and soot to get over your furniture. Therefore, you need to secure the opening to your fireplace by shutting the glass doors if you have any or using a large plastic sheet to cover the opening.
Now would be the perfect time to get excess ashes out of your fireplace too. Make sure you give the ashes enough time to cool down, preferably a few days. Ashes can retain a lot of heat and can burn through paper and plastic bags with ease.
The easiest way to ensure your chimney stays clean is to call a professional to come clean it. These professionals will be able to detect chimney problems which can cause issues in the future. Make sure you hire a chimney sweeper who is licensed, bonded, and insured.
Your chimney can cause serious problems if it is not cared for properly. One common problem is an obstruction causing smoke and dangerous gasses to come back into your home instead of going outside. You can clean your chimney yourself, but it is usually best to hire a professional chimney sweep to do it for you.
A chimney sweep will ensure your chimney is completely clean as well as functional. Since unclean chimneys can present a significant threat to your safety, you will need to get it cleaned at least once a year. If you use it quite frequently, then having it cleaned twice per year may not be such a bad idea.
Once a chimney sweep is at your home, he will first inspect various parts of the chimney for the presence of problems. The liner could be cracked, the flue could be blocked, or creosote and other substances could have accumulated a lot inside the chimney. All of these problems need to be addressed as soon as possible.
The average homeowner will not know what to look for, so it would be pretty easy to miss a potentially serious problem. If there are any issues with your chimney the chimney sweep will point them out to you so you can have them resolved.
After the chimney has been inspected initially the chimney sweep will proceed to clean it. Special brushes will need to be used to ensure all debris inside the chimney is removed. Since the job is very messy the chimney sweep will need to protect your carpet and furniture by covering the fireplace opening with a tarp and tape. After the chimney has been cleaned, the chimney sweep may inspect it again since there may have been problems which were hidden by some of the debris.
It is important to note; anyone can call themselves a chimney sweep. Unlike being a doctor, lawyer, or some other type of professional, there are no licensing laws required for the profession. Therefore, you should look for a chimney sweep that has been certified by one or more professional organisations. The National Chimney Sweeps Guild, Chimney Safety Institute of America, and the Certified Chimney Professionals are good certifications to look for.
You should also ask your potential chimney sweep to provide you with a list of references for you to check out. If they have a portfolio of their past work, that would also be helpful. Having a clean chimney is vital, so make sure you get someone to do the job properly.
Chimney caps, like their name suggest are metal covers fitted over the opening of a chimney. There are a few reasons you should consider having one installed on your home’s chimney. Keep reading to learn about the importance of chimney caps.
Every so often pieces of burning embers will make their way out of your chimney and into the surrounding environment. They can easily land on the roof and start a fire. They could also land in a pile of debris in your yard and cause a fire as well. A chimney cap would help keep embers inside the chimney.
If you live in an area which experiences frequent rainfall having a chimney cap installed is a really good idea. Generally speaking, moisture and masonry do not get along very well. An uncapped chimney allows moisture to get inside the chimney and degrade the masonry over time. During the summer months when you are not using the chimney you may notice a musty smell throughout your home because of this moisture.
This problem can be avoided by using a chimney cap. In addition to protecting the interior of the chimney, the cap will also help protect the crown from ice and rain. If it is not protected it will wear down much more quickly.
One of the main concerns people with chimneys have is keeping animals out. Raccoons and birds can easily use the opening to get inside your home. Birds will also create nests which can block the flue and cause smoke and gasses to end up in your living room. You can keep all types of animals out of your chimney by installing a cap.
Just be aware that some of the caps use very small screens to keep animals out. It is important for you to clean these screens on a regular basis. Soot and creosote can cause them to become clogged which will reduce the draft of your chimney and lead to smoke backing up.
Speaking of drafts, chimney caps help out in this area too. Capping the chimney properly will help ensure it has a proper draft. If you live in a windy area this will benefit you greatly.
Make sure you obtain the right size chimney cap. If it is not the right size it will likely do more harm than good. It will interfere with the chimney's draft and efficiency so you will have to burn more fuel to make up for it
Chimney inspections are designed to catch many of these problems before they become too serious. A professional chimney sweep can check things such as the condition of the liner or existence of obstructions.
For homeowners who have a fireplace or wood stove, cleaning the chimney regularly is a must. There are numerous things that can go wrong. If you fail to catch some of these problems in time, they can lead to a very destructive house fire. Sometimes, gasses will not be routed out of the chimney properly which can certainly be a significant health risk as well.
Chimney inspections are designed to catch many of these problems before they become too serious. A professional chimney sweep can check things such as the condition of the liner or existence of obstructions.
Soot, creosote, and other debris building up over time is a common problem chimney inspections can catch. Whenever these substances build up, they will prevent hazardous gases from escaping into the outside. In the case of creosote, the substance is quite flammable and can easily start a fire because of all the sparks that are flying around.
Every chimney inspection is not the same. There are three different levels of inspection the average homeowner can get. The most common type of inspection is the Level One inspection. This type of inspection focuses on checking the flue for obstructions or other damage as well as examining different structures of the chimney that can be accessed with ease.
Sometimes, people will upgrade their chimney and start using a different type of fuel. In this case, a Level Two inspection is called for. The chimney will need to be checked out thoroughly for various defects. Video or digital photography will be used to achieve this. Every part of the chimney from the top down will need to be checked out, including the areas that are not easy to access.
If a professional thinks something is wrong with your chimney, then a Level Three inspection may be called for. During this type of inspection, parts of your chimney may need to be removed to ensure it is checked out thoroughly. Obviously, this will be the most expensive type of inspection. Therefore, it is usually reserved for finding problems which are particularly dangerous for the occupants of the home.
It is best for you to have a chimney inspection on an annual basis. You should have it inspected even if you do not use it on a regular basis. Although byproducts of combustion would not be much of a problem because of the decreased use, animals may have caused obstructions which need to be cleared out.