Usually, homeowners don’t give attention to the chimney unless the fireplace is not working. This behavior can lead to problems later when the chimney is dirty or damaged and causes accidents like a chimney fire or smoky fireplace. You need a chimney inspection to avoid problems and keep your fireplace providing warmth safely. Look for the below signs to know if your chimney needs inspection.
It’s Been More Than A Year Since the Last Inspection
A chimney inspection is required at least once a year so that your chimney is checked for leaks, cracks, creosote buildup, crumbling chimney mortar, and other issues. Many homeowners, get their chimneys inspected at the beginning of the winter season.
However, if the last time you had your chimney inspected was more than a year ago, you should consider a professional chimney checkup. Moreover, schedule a chimney inspection a month before winter every year so it doesn’t slip through your mind.
There Is Soot And Creosote Buildup
Soot and creosote are by-products of burning wood. Soot buildup is possible in oil and gas fireplaces as well. Both are black, tar-like substances that are flammable.
These substances keep getting produced and sticking to the walls of the chimney. When the buildup is thick, it can catch fire and cause a chimney fire.
We suggested earlier to get an expert to inspect your chimney yearly. However, you should keep inspecting your chimney every month or week, especially in the winter months when you’re using your fireplace daily.
With the inspection, you can notice problems and consult chimney experts. So, if you notice a 1/8 inch of soot and creosote layer on the chimney liner, get a chimney inspection. The professional will inspect the chimney and thoroughly clean it with special tools.
You Just Bought A New House
There are many things you should get inspected after buying a house. One of them is the chimney. This is necessary because you can’t know the condition of the chimney unless it’s inspected by someone. The chimney can have cracks, leaks, creosote buildup, spalling bricks, or other problems, so you must not skip a chimney checkup to ensure safety.
The Smoke From The Fireplace Is Filling The Room
A smoky fireplace is caused by burning wet wood or faults in the chimney. So, check your wood and make sure that it’s dry and seasoned. If it is, then you should perform a chimney inspection to know why the room is getting filled up with the smoke coming from the fireplace.
The cause of a smoky fireplace can be a closed damper or blocked chimney. Moreover, the reason can also be the absence of a chimney cap and water seepage.
Additionally, if your fireplace is not smoky but it’s giving off a weird smell, it can carbon monoxide. You should get your chimney inspection immediately.
Debris In Your Fireplace
Many animals and birds take refuge in a chimney to protect themselves from the cold. They can also bring leaves, twigs, and other items to make nests. Some of these leaves and sticks can fall into the fireplace and are a clear sign that you should inspect and clean your chimney.
Furthermore, debris in fireplace can be a hint of chimney cracks as well. A chimney inspection is necessary to determine the cause of the problems and perform repairs.
Stains On The Exterior Of The Chimney
A discolored chimney is a sign of various problems depending on the color of the stain. Chimney discoloration is easy to spot because it’s on the exterior walls of the chimney.
- Black stains on a chimney mean excessive creosote buildup and require a checkup and cleaning.
- On the other hand, blue or green stains indicate mold or algae growth on the chimney which is due to any moisture-related issue.
- White stains are due to moisture in the bricks and the affected bricks may require replacement.
- Red or brown chimney stains can result from rust. It could be water damage inside the chimney or rainwater flowing from the rusted chimney cap onto the chimney walls staining the walls.
Your chimney should be in tip-top condition to ensure the safety of your home and family. To avoid problems, get your chimney inspected by chimney contractors Bowie once a year.