Although a home fireplace can be a great functional and aesthetic addition to a home, without the proper maintenance a chimney can be a serious safety hazard. The following are common issues that can develop in your chimney without regular cleaning.
There is the potential for blockages in the flue of your chimney. These blocks are caused by an accumulation of debris. Blocked chimneys are very dangerous as they prevent heat, smoke and gases created by your fireplace, from exiting your home.
This is produced from the gasses created by burning wood in your fireplace. As those gasses condense on their way out of the chimney, they form a corrosive, combustible substance called Creosote. The best way to avoid this issue is having an annual inspection and cleaning performed by a professional.
Your chimney crown and cap are the first lines of defense against outside forces, such as rain, debris and animals. If these external components become cracked or detached from the chimney, any of the above issues can gain access to your chimney and cause significant damage.
How dirty your fireplace gets is dependent on how often the fireplace is used as well as the type of wood your burning in the fireplace. To play it safe and avoid a potential fire hazard, it’s recommended to have your chimney inspected annually. This ensures it’s free from deposits and hasn’t sustained damage (i.e., missing mortar or cracked tiles). If you find that your chimney does need sweeping, it’s best to contact a certified chimney sweep who’s knowledgeable about building codes and received training on recognizing deterioration or venting issues in chimneys.