Your Budget Should Include a Chimney Inspection Annually
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Reasons You Should Budget for a Chimney Inspection

We understand that with rising fuel and other costs, many homeowners are trying to save money where they can. While it may be tempting to skip a chimney inspection, it could end up costing you more money in unexpected chimney repairs. Here are five important reasons to always budget for your annual chimney inspection.

cleaning chimney creosote build-up, madison wiDangerous Creosote Buildup

When wood logs are combusting in the fireplace to heat your home, it creates various byproducts such as soot, creosote, and other volatile organic compounds. Creosote is especially dangerous because when it remains in the chimney, it hardens into a dark and tarry material that is very flammable. A hot ember is all it takes to ignite glazed creosote that can cause a chimney fire that can spread throughout the home. It is the most common cause of heating equipment-related house fires. That’s why one essential function of a chimney sweep is to remove this dangerous buildup to help prevent a chimney fire.



Masonry Damage and Leaks

Living in Wisconsin, we get our share of extreme weather conditions. While we’re pretty safe and sound inside our home, the exterior masonry is battling the storm year after year.  From freezing rain, snow, and ice in the winter to hot and humid weather in the summer, cracked or chipped bricks, decaying mortar, chimney crown cracks, and other masonry damage are inevitable. Even tiny cracks are a problem because they lead to more significant cracks. Water can leak through these crevices and damage the interior masonry walls, flue liner, and other components. It also increases fire risk and exposure to toxic carbon monoxide fumes in the home. In addition, without regular chimney inspections, the brickwork can eventually begin to crumble, leaving gaps in the mortar joints.  Severe masonry damage can lead to a catastrophic failure resulting in a partial or complete chimney collapse with extensive property damage and repairs.

Flue Obstructions and Animal Entry

Without annual chimney inspections, you may not realize that organic material is piling up and slowly restricting the venting of smoke and fumes while you’re relaxing near the fireplace. It can occur when leaves, twigs, and debris blowing across the roof get tangled around the chimney cap or clog the flue vent. If your chimney cap is damaged or missing, small birds, squirrels, and other critters can enter the flue and build nests inside the chimney. In addition, a flue obstruction can cause a dangerous backdraft that pushes smoke, soot, and hot material out of the fireplace and into the living area.

Flue Liner Cracks

Since the flue liner protects the masonry from excessive heat and prevents its spread to combustible building materials, it is another reason why annual chimney inspections are vital. Many homes in Wisconsin have clay tile liners. Normal wear and tear due to age, excessive heat, corrosive residues, moisture, and small chimney fires can cause the tiles to burst or crack. When damaged liners are not promptly repaired or replaced, it increases fire risk and exposure to harmful fumes.

Worn Flashing

The flashing is a sheet metal that creates a water-tight between the roof and chimney. Worn or damaged flashing is a common source of chimney leaks that can damage the attic, roof deck, and ceiling when it goes unnoticed. Therefore, inspecting the flashing is an integral part of a chimney inspection so that it can be repaired or replaced before it can cause water-related chimney damage.

chimney inspection appointment, platteville wiScheduling Your Chimney Inspection

If you haven’t scheduled your annual chimney inspection yet, contact us today to schedule an appointment to ensure your fireplace and chimney is safe to operate when our chilly weather arrives. Our professional chimney sweeps are CSIA-certified for all three chimney inspection levels.

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