Before you fire up your fireplace during the chilly months, it’s a smart move to have the chimney checked out by a professional. There are several reasons why fall is the best time for this work.
Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor Store of Pensacola and Destin, Florida, would like to outline what happens during a proper fall chimney service.
If you use a wood fireplace or fireplace insert, having your chimney cleaned annually is a very important task. Wood smoke leaves creosote deposits in the flue. Over time, the deposits can build up to the point that a major chimney fire begins.
Professional chimney sweeps use industry-grade brushes, whips, chimney sweep rods, solvents, vacuums and other equipment to remove even the most stubborn creosote. Don’t neglect this service if your fireplace burns wood.
The bricks and mortar that make up your chimney can be damaged without you knowing it. Small cracks in the masonry may begin to appear, eventually allowing water into the system.
Water damage is a primary reason for the many chimney repairs that happen each year in our area of Florida. An annual visit from a qualified chimney inspector will tell you if your masonry is failing and recommend the right solution.
Fall chimney maintenance should always include a close check of the chimney cap (or chase top), chimney crown, chimney flashing and fireplace damper. These components must be in good working order to keep your chimney/fireplace system safe and functional.
What can happen when these components are damaged and not repaired?
Chimney cap & chimney chase top: Water may move past them and begin a cycle of damage within the chimney’s interior. If they’re severely damaged or missing, all sorts of debris and small animals can enter the chimney flue.
Chimney crown: If there are cracks in the concrete chimney crown, water will get into them and gradually eat away at the crown until it can no longer keep water and debris out of the interior chimney.
Chimney flashing: The material that seals the gap between the chimney and the roof is called “flashing.” When flashing is warped or otherwise damaged, rainwater can flow down into unseen areas of the home, affecting the chimney masonry and home building materials. Additionally, mold can begin to grow.
Fireplace damper: A rusted or warped damper that can’t fully open will impede proper drafting, possibly resulting in smoke and deadly carbon monoxide backing up into the home. A damper that won’t close fully will allow conditioned air to escape your home in the hot months.
If it’s been more than a year since your last inspection, fall is the right time to schedule it. Chimney crews usually aren’t as busy at this time of year, and you’ll find it easier to schedule the job conveniently.
Doodlebuggers provides complete chimney and fireplace inspections, including video inspections of chimney liners. We also perform all chimney repair and cleaning work. When in need, call the experts and get the job done right.
Reach a fireplace and chimney expert today at (850) 779-2567 in Pensacola, FL, or at (850) 779-4998 in the Destin, FL, area.