Can A Dirty Chimney Make You Sick?
Spring cleaning is in full swing and you’ve likely got a laundry list of items on your to-do list. From dusting off the effects of winter in your garage or mud room to washing windows and baseboards to cleaning mattresses and more, there’s no shortage of tasks you need to take care of.
One area you’re likely to overlook, however, is your chimney. The interior of your fireplace system is not something you see regularly. Yet it could be hiding a dirty secret that is more than just a cleaning issue; it can be a health issue as well. So can a dirty chimney make you sick? Here are three reasons why the answer is yes.
First issue: creosote exposure
The first secret danger lurking in your chimney is creosote build-up. What is creosote? It’s a by-product of burning wood. Worse, it builds up quickly if you burn unseasoned wood.
So how does a dirty chimney make you sick? The answer is creosote exposure. Creosote is carcinogenic and can lead to skin irritation, rashes, and eye irritation up to and including even vision loss. In addition to these issues, respiratory conditions, abdominal problems, mental confusion, and cancer can all be traced back to creosote exposure. Luckily, this danger is easily avoided with regular cleanings and inspections.
Second issue: toxic gases
Speaking of chimney cleaning, when is the last time your chimney was professionally inspected? If you can’t remember, it’s well past time to get an inspection scheduled.
One of the dangers your Chimney Specialists technician could potentially uncover is a blocked flue. Anything from errant leaves to animal nests can block it. How is this a problem? That’s because dangerous gases cannot escape if something else is standing in their way. Therefore, where will they go? Right back into your living space.
Smoke damage can lead to extensive repairs in your home. In addition, one extremely dangerous gas to be aware of is carbon monoxide. As it is colorless and odorless, it can be present without you even knowing it. Symptoms of CO exposure are a dull headache, weakness and dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, confusion, blurred vision, and even loss of consciousness. So can a dirty chimney make you sick? When it comes to toxic gases, the answer is in more ways than one.
Third issue: chimney fires
Home fires are one of a homeowner’s biggest fears. We spend decades building our lives and memories, and a dirty chimney can quickly tear all of that down in just a few moments.
How exactly? Creosote build-up is highly flammable. In an area where heat and embers are regularly present, this is a recipe for disaster. Not only can the smoke inhalation make you sick, but the mental anguish from experiencing a house fire can also affect you for years after the incident.
Let Chimney Specialists help you with that cleaning list
We’ve already mentioned it, but it bears repeating. Regular chimney cleanings and inspections can ensure you never have to deal with your chimney making you sick, whether physically or emotionally. Is it time for your next sweep or inspection? Then let us know. Schedule your next appointment by calling Chimney Specialists, Inc at 608-929-4887 or contact us online.