On a typical cold winter’s day, nothing is as enticing as a roaring fire in the fireplace. But did you know that the most comfortable part of your house can also be the most dangerous? Regular maintenance, as well as repair of your chimney and chimney flue, are essential in keeping your family to be warm and safe for many years to come.
The function of a chimney is to draw smoke and gasses away from the burning fire and out of your house. This is not simply a matter convenience, though. The smoke from a fire can contain dangerous gases, among them carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can cause illness, or even the death, in large amounts.
- Check your house chimney periodically from the outside to see if you see any cracks or gaps in the chimney joints. These often become stained by the smoke, making them easy to see.
- Ensure that you have working carbon monoxide detectors in your house, preferably on every floor, and particularly in sleeping areas. These can indicate a venting obstacle. Check them regularly to be assured that your family isn’t exposed to even the low levels of carbon monoxide.
- Keep your fires burning nice and hot, all to prevent the buildup of creosote in your home chimney.
- Schedule an annual cleaning as well as an examination of your home chimney and flue with a skilled chimney repair professional. If you handle your fireplace or stove regularly, these checks should be even more regular.
- It’s important for the crown to be in good condition since it provides the first line of defense against outdoor elements. When the chimney crown is cracked, water gets in and freezes and thaws, causing bigger cracks. A damaged chimney crown allows the moisture to leak between the chimney and its liner as well as into the chimney, which can cause scaling and spalling.
- Signs of the moisture in a chimney or the fireplace are red flags that the chimney isn’t working the way it should. Rust on the wall is one clue that there is too much moisture inside, and you might see rust in the firebox or on the damper. You’ll know to take a close look at the damper if it becomes difficult to operate or if it isn’t sealing properly.
- With a great care and regular maintenance, you will be able to keep the costs of home chimney repairs down, and you can be sure that your chimney will offer you years of safe, worry-free service.