3 Compelling Reasons Annual Chimney Inspections are Worth the Cost
Many homeowners in the U.S. are finding creative new ways to cut costs and live on tighter budgets, but cutting out annual chimney inspections is not an expense that should be cut. Fireplaces are popular amenities that are associated with many warm memories for families everywhere, but there are potential hazards that can arise. Getting an annual chimney inspection can help to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, help prevent deadly house fires, and help to cut on costs of needed repairs.
1 – The Threat of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the number one cause of poisoning fatalities in the U.S., and chimney problems are among the leading causes of CO poisoning. A chimney inspection by a qualified professional will help to reveal dangerous conditions which can expose a household to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
A blocked chimney, deteriorating chimney, rusted heat exchanger, and broken chimney connector pipe are among the issues that a chimney inspection can reveal. Because of the danger of carbon monoxide, a fireplace should not be used until these types of problems are fixed. While installing carbon monoxide alarms should be a top priority in homes that have fireplaces, the possibility of death from poisoning is too real to use a fireplace where CO poisoning has been identified as a genuine threat due to the need for chimney repairs.
Carbon monoxide is widely referred to as the “silent killer” because the toxic fumes are odorless, tasteless, and colorless. Without an alarm to alert a household to dangerous levels of CO, there is often not enough of a warning to prevent serious illness and sometimes even death.
The symptoms of CO poisoning are not evident immediately; they include nausea, confusion, fatigue, and headaches. Children are more susceptible than adults to dying or suffering from brain or heart damage as a result of exposure to high levels of CO.
2 – The Possibility of a Dangerous Chimney Fire
At the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), experts make recommendations to help prevent house fires. The NFPA highly recommends annual chimney inspections, and the leading reason is the potential for dangerous chimney fires.
Among fires reported to fire departments in the U.S., it was found in a report on 2011 data that:
- The cause of approximately 53,600 fires involved heating equipment, such as fireplaces. Those fires resulted in 400 deaths, 1,540 injuries, and approximately $893 million in direct property damage.
- In total, there were about 370,000 house fires. About 15% of those fires were home fires in which a contributing cause was heating equipment. In addition, heating equipment was linked to 17% of all home fire fatalities and 11% of all home fire injuries.
- From 2006 through 2010, it was found that fireplaces, chimneys, or chimney connectors were involved in 38% of all home heating fires that were reported. Many of those fires were caused by chimneys that had not been properly maintained and had large amounts of creosote buildup.
Chimney inspections by our qualified technicians include identifying all issues which can cause a chimney fire, such as an excessive amount of highly flammable creosote and soot in the chimney lining. Chimney fires create extremely high temperatures that can result in structural damage to the chimney and can cause nearby combustible materials to ignite. Because chimney fires are so intense, when the blazes spread, houses typically burn very quickly, leaving residents little time to exit safely.
3 – The Potential for Costly Repairs
It often requires an expert eye to identify signs of a deteriorating chimney. If damage is discovered early, the amount of damage to the home, along with resulting costs, can be minimized. For instance, flashing problems often result in severe roof damage as well as other types of structural damage. If there are leaks in any part of the chimney system, the resulting damage can be very costly.
Among the issues a chimney inspector will identify are the following:
- A cracked chimney crown,
- A damaged chimney cap,
- A damaged flue lining,
- Broken bricks, and
- Deteriorating mortar.
Budgeting for an annual chimney inspection is a crucial safety measure and can cut the cost of needed chimney repairs. Realistically, in the long run, a chimney inspection can help save money and help save lives.
Chimney Solutions, Inc.
1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004
Office 770-255-1300 / Toll Free 877-697-9337