Chimneys and fireplaces require regular upkeep to function effectively, otherwise they could sustain extensive damage leading to costly repairs. Without this care, chimneys could suffer irreparable harm leading to costly repairs.
Chimney sweeping is important because it removes toxic creosote build-up that could pose fire risks. Therefore, homeowners should have their chimney swept annually for optimal results.
1. Smoke Damage
Chimneys can quickly deteriorate over time if they aren’t regularly swept. Accumulated smoke, soot and creosote inside chimneys can erode materials such as brick and mortar, damaging flue linings as well as adjacent walls.
Eroded masonry can create cracks and holes which allow dangerous gases into your home, potentially decreasing indoor air quality and making you sick.
Creosote buildup can also contribute to chimney fires. Being highly flammable, creosote easily ignites. By scheduling regular chimney sweep visits and clearing away creosote buildup from your chimneys regularly, regular chimney sweeping services remove creosote to eliminate this leading cause of home fires – making their services well worth their chimney sweep cost!
2. Water Damage
Your chimney may look indestructible, but the elements can take their toll. From warm summer rainstorms to the freezing conditions of winter snow and icefall, water damage to both bricks and mortar and the flue liners is sure to happen over time.
Chimney masonry that has been damaged can require costly repairs, and in extreme cases may even necessitate complete rebuilding.
Professional chimney sweeps use camera inspection to detect any signs of deterioration before it becomes irreparable. They will also ensure that the chimney cap is securely in place to keep out debris, animals, and weather from the fireplace, and remove creosote glaze that has built up inside it, thus protecting against birds nesting or further damaging.
3. Damaged Chimney Cap
Chimney sweeps are experienced at spotting early signs of chimney damage, such as cracked masonry or worn flashing, so repairs can be completed before becoming serious issues that require costly fixes. Delaying such repairs increases your risk of fire while also exposing you to carbon monoxide contaminants in the form of CO emissions.
Regular chimney cleanings help eliminate creosote buildup, which is one of the primary causes of chimney fires. Creosote’s acidity eats through flue linings and interior masonry surfaces causing collapse or burning in your chimney flue and interior spaces.
A chimney cap serves to keep debris out of the chimney flue. Without one, leaves, twigs, falling fruit and small animal nests may become lodged inside and cause blockages that prevent proper smoke draft, leading to toxic fumes entering your house while possibly endangering pets and children.
4. Damaged Flue Liner
A chimney liner protects combustible walls of a chimney against smoke, fire and carbon monoxide gases produced from burning wood. A damaged liner allows these potentially harmful materials to permeate into your home through the chimney wall masonry and enter your living space.
Clay, steel or poured-in-place chimney liners can easily be damaged by the heat and chemicals of a fireplace fire, possibly cracking or breaking and leaving interior bricks exposed to corrosive byproducts of combustion.
Cracked or damaged flue lining can also increase the risk of chimney fires by collecting creosote that ignites. A certified chimney inspector can examine the condition of your flue liner during a certified inspection and recommend repairs or replacement as appropriate.
5. Deteriorating Mortar Joints
Repointing a chimney with crumbling mortar joints is both hazardous to its structural integrity and an indicator that it needs attention. Chimney sweeps can use special masonry mortar to fill in gaps between bricks and restore structural integrity; older homes with mortar hardened with cement-like materials may experience crumbling more frequently than newer houses with unprotected mortar joints.
Clean chimneys are essential to ensuring smoke doesn’t seep into your living space and create health hazards for you and your family. Cleaning it yourself is difficult and dangerous; professional chimney sweeps have the right tools to thoroughly scrub every inch of your fireplace, flue and chimney for you, saving both time and money in the process. An ideal chimney sweep should be CSIA certified and carry business liability insurance policy as these should help to guarantee maximum cleanliness for maximum savings over time.