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Home > Education > Fire Damage > Fire Damage Prevention > How To Prevent A Chimney Fire And Water Damage

How to Prevent a Chimney Fire and Water Damage

While chimneys lend an aesthetic quality to your home, their real purpose is to vent gases and smoke from your fireplace. If a chimney is blocked or damaged, it is a potentially serious fire hazard. Here are a few ways to prevent chimney fires.

Inspection

Many people think that chimneys do not require maintenance, but this is not the case. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), chimneys should be periodically inspected to make sure cracks have not formed in them, and cleaned at least once a year by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep.

Fire Risk

The biggest risk for a chimney fire comes from the buildup of creosote in the chimney flue. Creosote is the residue left from wood-burning fires. Over time, it lines the chimney walls. Creosote is combustible, and if enough builds up, it could set your chimney on fire.

Past Damage

If you have had chimney fire causing fire damage in the past, even a small one, it could have left behind damage in the form of cracks in the masonry. Most of the time, you will not be able to detect them, which is why regular inspections are so important. A chimney sweep can check the inside of the chimney for these cracks. If left in disrepair, a cracked chimney is a disaster waiting to happen.

Replace

If the damage to a chimney is bad enough, it should be replaced. A chimney is not something you want to cut corners with. If the chimney is very old, consider having it rebuilt, even if it has not caused any trouble before. Taking these precautions will ensure that you will be able to safely enjoy nights at home in front of the fire for many years to come.

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