While many homeowners know that they need to undertake chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, and other chimney maintenance practices, most of them don’t.
This results in them experiencing a wide range of chimney problems. The most common problems that come about due to improper maintenance of the chimney include:
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Did you know over 4,000 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning? Carbon monoxide results when there is incomplete combustion of the burning fuel. The gas can result from any type of heating appliance you might be using.
Whether using gas hot water heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves, or even oil furnaces, as long there is incomplete combustion, carbon monoxide is generated.
The reason why carbon monoxide is deadly is that you can’t see or smell it. When you inhale high levels of the gas you experience flu-like symptoms. Due to this, many people think that they are catching a cold. Inhaling extreme doses of the gas induce vomiting, headaches, and even death.
For you to protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning you should keep your chimney clean all the time so that the gas doesn’t get back to your house. This calls for you to unblock the chimney.
Get rid of any nests, birds, and other materials that might be preventing the chimney from functioning as properly as it’s supposed to.
This is another problem you will experience when you are dealing with a poorly maintained chimney. In most cases, chimney fires result due to the accumulation of creosote in the chimney.
Creosote is a black gummy substance that is formed when smoke gets into contact with the cooler areas of the chimney. Small amounts of creosote don’t cause any issues in the chimney but when the levels are too high, they can catch fire putting you and your family at risk.
The cool thing is that you can prevent the chimney fires in your home. All you need to do is to hire a chimney sweep at the end of every year to inspect your chimney and clean it if dirty.
On your part as a homeowner, you should be cautious of the type of wood you burn. As rule of thumb, only burn seasoned wood. This is wood that has been air dried for at least six months.
The final problem you are bound to experience is chimney failure. When you don’t properly maintain the chimney, it’s bound to develop cracks, the motor is bound to come apart, among many other problems. If you stay for a long time without fixing these problems, the chimney will eventually fail.
For you to keep the unit in good shape you should make an effort of inspecting the chimney at least once a year. If there are any issues, regardless of how minor they are, fix them as soon as possible. Some people ignore minor cracks in the motor, but don’t do this as these problems usually lead to larger problems that can even bring down the entire chimney.
Chimney maintenance tips
As mentioned above, the key to preventing chimney problems is taking good care of it. There are many ways in which you can make it possible:
Annual chimney inspection: This is a no-brainer. Regular chimney inspection is necessary for a safe chimney. At least once a year, hire a masonry contractor to inspect your unit and fix even the most issues it might be having.
During the inspection, the contractor should also clean the unit. You should note that when the chimney is clean and free of obstructions, you don’t have to worry much about it coming down or your family suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Use the right fuel: For you to prevent your chimney from producing a lot of smoke you should watch the fuel that you are using. As rule of thumb, only use seasoned wood.
As mentioned above, this is wood that has been split and stacked for at least six months. Since its thoroughly dry, it doesn’t produce a lot of smoke thus little creosote is deposited on the chimney walls.
Work with the right chimney company: It’s wise that you work with chimney sweep Bowie for you to have an easy time keeping your chimney in top shape. Ensure that the contractors you are working with are experienced and certified to work in your local area.