The Dangers of Neglecting Chimney Maintenance
Before you know it, it will be time to light up your fireplace. The winters in Madison, Southwest, Northwest Illinois and Northeast Iowa can be brutal, and you need a reliable way to keep warm. While it is essential to have a well-functioning chimney, maintenance is just as critical. If you choose to ignore your maintenance, you could be putting your safety at risk and set yourself up for costly repairs in the future. Keep reading for more information on what the dangers of neglecting your chimney are.
While your chimney was designed to withstand some of the hottest temperatures, it can still catch fire if not appropriately maintained. Especially if you burn wood in your fireplace, there will be a build-up of creosote. This is a black, tar-like substance that comes from the wood when lit. It can accumulate over time, and it really doesn’t take that long to do so. The problem is that creosote is highly flammable and is one of the leading causes of fires in homes with fireplaces. You should never allow creosote to get more than ⅛ inch thick. Anything over that is a gamble to your safety. Also, any soot left in the fireplace and chimney for an extended time is a fire hazard as well. The way to combat this is with regular cleanings from a certified and experienced chimney sweep like our team at Chimney Specialists Inc.
There are many things that get into your chimney regularly, such as debris like leaves, limbs, and even animal nests that can lead to an obstructed flow of air. Several animals, including birds and squirrels, seek out chimneys in the winter to stay warm. Although you might not notice it at first, this can be a big problem for a homeowner because the air must flow appropriately through the fireplace and chimney to be safe and effective. When there is partial airflow, you’re likely getting those toxic fumes back into the house rather than out of the chimney like they’re supposed to. These fumes are carbon monoxide and have no color, smell, taste and makes it nearly impossible to notice without a detector. The only way to make sure that your home is safe is to have a chimney sweep clean obstructions regularly and also install a detector.
If you’re not taking care of your chimney, there is an increased risk of chimney leaks and corrosion to not only the structure itself but the surrounding area. Most home insurance companies require a scheduled annual chimney inspection to ensure that the home is maintained and in working order. A neglected chimney could cause your premiums to rise or the company to drop you.
Book Chimney Maintenance
If you’re due for a chimney or fireplace service, give our experienced and friendly team a call today at 608-929-4887. We specialize in all things fireplace and chimney, and we can work with you to make your home’s chimney safe and functional just in time for winter.