It’s getting cooler out and soon it will be time for enjoying the warmth of a fire after a long day in the cold. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that your fireplace and chimney need an annual inspection even though annual inspections are vital to your chimney’s health and they could also save your home from a potential fire hazard.
Chimney fires are one of the main causes of residential house fires annually. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), there are, on average, more than 20,000 residential house fires caused by chimneys every year. Unfortunately, a majority of these fires may have been preventable. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) states that the leading contributor to home heating fires is having a chimney that isn’t clean. At The Chimney Guy, we can’t stress how important it is to inspect and clean your chimney every year, not only for the operational benefits you receive, but also the peace of mind you get by knowing your chimney is operating safely.
All fuel types release smoke, soot, and gases. When these gases cool down as they leave your chimney, some of it condenses and hardens on the inside of your chimney. Eventually, this condensation accumulates to the point that it forms a thick tar-like substance called creosote. Creosote is flammable and if it combusts, it creates a chimney fire that is nearly impossible to extinguish. There is no way to prevent creosote from building up inside your chimney and that is why it is essential to schedule an annual chimney inspection. Also, debris from trees and animal nests may also be lodged inside your chimney. Because this debris is composed of wood, sticks, and leaves, it also is a fire hazard that must be removed.
The most important thing you can do for your chimney’s health is to have it inspected annually by a chimney sweep who has been certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Annual inspections are critical for making sure your chimney is going to be operational and safe when you want to use it. During an inspection, a CSIA certified chimney sweep will look for any damage to your chimney and fireplace by inspecting the masonry, flue, and all the other components (chimney crown, chimney cap, damper, etc.) of your chimney as well. They will also inspect to make sure that your chimney isn’t clogged with debris or creosote, which are the leading causes of chimney fires.
Don’t put your home at risk! At The Chimney Guy, we offer chimney inspections by CSIA certified technicians. You still have time to beat the fall rush, so call us today at (920) 830-1920, or you can schedule an appointment online on our scheduling page.