It is necessary to keep chimney and fireplaces flues in good working condition to avoid any problems with the interior ventilation system. The main function of a flue or chimney is to serve as a way for the by-products from a home heating appliance as these by-products are very hazardous to the occupant’s health because of the poisonous gases produced. One of the hazardous substances is carbon monoxide, which can cause several respiratory problems. To be protected against such noxious substances, regular inspections and proper maintenance must be performed on any ventilation system to ensure its integrity and functionality.
Additionally, creosote and soot are highly flammable substances, especially when exposed to extreme heat. They should be thoroughly cleaned from the chimney or flue to avoid the creation of a fire hazard. Regardless of the type of chimneys in the home, it is important that a periodic check-up is performed before using the fireplace to avoid significant damage including the loss of life and property.
Many people who own fireplaces rarely if ever use them, so why spend money on a chimney inspection? Unless you’ve fully sealed your fireplace and have had it checked out by a proper inspector, you aren’t off the hook for having a regular inspection performed to ensure it is up to proper fire safety and building standards. When people have a cap placed on the outer opening, many things can get caught or build up inside the flue, leaving your home more susceptible to fires, damage, and pest inhabitation.
Self Chimney Inspection
Between professional visits, you’ll want to keep your fireplace regularly swept and clean as well as give it checks for minor damages or problems that can arise. You don’t have to go climbing into it and getting all sooty, but paying some attention to the visible areas can be quite helpful in spotting potential issues. A vacuum with a detachable hose and various brushes can be very useful in cleaning the first few feet of the flue from your home. After sweeping away any large debris, use the vacuum to suction up the dust and take advantage of any curving brush heads that can help you reach into difficult spaces. You will want to wear something you don’t mind getting a little dusty and be sure to cover the first few feet of floor with a protective surface before getting started. For those who use their fireplace more regularly, you might want to invest in a long-handled brush to help you reach all the way to the top rather than having to have professional sweeps regularly.
Annual Chimney Inspection
Until you’ve sealed off the fireplace, most people recommend an annual chimney inspection to ensure everything is in working order as well as to keep your home and family safe. One common problem that people overlook is that animals and other pests can build their home in the flue, leaving their fecal matter behind or even passing away, which isn’t the most pleasant thing to have stuck halfway up your home, especially in the summer. If you have large trees that arch near the opening on the roof, twigs, leaves, and other items can fall and stop up parts of the flue as well, which can be very dangerous.
Importance of Chimney Inspections
Inspections must be done regularly to be able to assess the structural integrity of a ventilation system, maintain liners, remove obstructions, get rid of creosote deposits, promote airflow, and check for draft control. The flue should be cleaned regularly to prevent any future damage and to ensure that it conforms to the recommended building codes and other safety standards regulating the proper design and installation of these systems. Over time, soot and creosote build up, hampering the normal flow of hazardous gases to the outside. If this happens, any by-products of the heating system such as carbon monoxide will be trapped inside the apartment and put household members in danger.
If you’re a regular user of your home fireplace, then regular chimney inspection is a must for fire prevention. Too much build up of soot can be a fire hazard and before you know it a cozy night by the fire could end up with your home blazing too. Over time, the structure of the flue itself can become damaged from weather or aging. Having the assistance of a professional is strongly recommended, and they can catch any problems so you can have it properly repaired to avoid a costly and dangerous collapse. Your inspector can recommend upgrades and repairs as necessary such as caps, new lining, and changes of material to ensure it continues to work properly for many more years.
Maintaining a functional chimney system is essential to avoid any future problems. It is important to learn and comprehead the above information about regular chimney and flue inspections to maintain structural integrity; ensure that a properly functioning system; and prevent the formation of creosote that can cause an eventual fire hazard. By understanding the importance of these inspections and the various levels as well as being aware of any safety alerts issued by the CPSC, future problems and be avoided a chimney heating system could cause that!