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.
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.
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.
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
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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