If a home has a fireplace, it likely has a chimney. And if it has a chimney, the homeowner needs to know about chimney maintenance and the problems that may arise. Many homeowners who own a home with a chimney don’t put much thought or effort into it and don’t realize when their chimney has problems that need to be fixed. Here are some of the problems that can occur and some other things homeowners need to keep in mind if they have a chimney and want to help ensure it stays in fine condition.
Chimney Liners Need to be Replaced
A chimney liner is a layer of clay, ceramic, or metal that coats the inside of a chimney and prevents the smoke from directly coming into contact with the stone or brick of the chimney. The liner helps to direct smoke and particles up and out of the home, and nearly every home with a chimney will also have a chimney liner unless it is exceptionally old. Over time, the chimney liner can deteriorate, especially if the fireplace is used often. It can be difficult for the average homeowner to tell when they need a new chimney liner, especially if they aren’t already familiar with chimneys, so this is yet another reason why homeowners should opt to get their fireplace and chimney inspected.
Professional Chimney Sweeps are Worth the Money
Pop culture has taught us that a chimney sweep is an easy job that just requires an oddly shaped broom and a can-do attitude. However, this isn’t quite true. There is a right way and a wrong way to clean a chimney, and Franklin TN homeowners who don’t know what they’re doing can potentially harm their chimney. Also, cleaning a chimney is an extremely messy job that will leave ash and soot everywhere if the homeowner isn’t prepared. Professional chimney sweeps have specialized equipment to help them clean up while they’re sweeping, and they also have tools that help them clean much more thoroughly than a homeowner with a broom would be able to.
Chimneys Can Get Blocked
Because chimneys are built the way they are, it’s common for things to get stuck inside them. Branches and leaves are a common grievance among homeowners, especially during autumn. While these can be inconvenient, having a chimney also means there’s a chance of animals hiding or falling in the chimney and getting stuck. If this happens, don’t light a fire to try to smoke the critter out or try to free the block that way. Instead, try to break up the blockage manually or call someone to come and fix everything.
Creosote Can Build Up
When a homeowner uses their fireplace, creosote will build up in their chimney. Creosote is a residue that’s left behind as smoke rises through the chimney. In normal quantities, it can be cleaned from a chimney during a normal sweeping, but as the buildup grows, it becomes more difficult to get rid of. Third-degree creosote buildup, the highest degree of build up, can obstruct the chimney, and if the homeowner uses the fireplace while it’s obstructed, it can lead to carbon monoxide and other toxic gases entering the home or chimney fires.
Chimneys and fireplaces can be a great addition to a home, and may help even sell the home, but homeowners need to take care and ensure and it’s properly taken care of so they don’t endanger themselves or their home. Having the chimney and fireplace inspected regularly can help ensure everything stays in working order.
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