Common Chimney Dangers and How to Prevent Them
Do you own a chimney and want your investment to last? Like many owners, you may want to learn what can be potentially harmful to your chimney and decrease the overall lifespan of the chimney.
Chimney Moisture Damage
No matter what climate you live in, your chimney is still susceptible to things like moisture damage, especially if parts of your chimney are damaged or weathered. A leaky chimney is no joke and can cost you a pretty penny if not maintained. Leaks are inevitable but can start because of a cracked chimney crown, roof flashing, or damage to the masonry. Some common signs of chimney leakage include:
- A musty odor coming from your fireplace
- Damp walls or a damp ceiling surrounding the fireplace area
- White staining from the chimney exterior
We recommend having your chimney regularly inspected to catch and/or prevent leaks early or get your chimney checked out before the rainy season.
Mold and Mildew in Your Chimney Flue
Along with the danger of moisture damage comes the issue of having mold and mildew growth within your chimney flue. This can be extremely detrimental to lung health and an alarming number of people (104) per day in the U.S. are killed by mold. With an annual chimney inspection, you can reduce overall mold growth in your flue when a tech comes out to sweep your chimney. This also helps prevent the risk of mold inhalation from your flue.
Chimney Flue Obstructions
Did you know that it’s not uncommon for critters and small animals to get stuck in your flue? When looking for a dry, safe place to nest, critters often choose to settle down in chimney flues. When techs do their routine chimney sweep they can also find dead branches or debris from nearby trees. Whatever the obstruction, this can compromise your chimney and decrease the amount of airflow within the flue. This can lead to smoke filling your home the next time you want to build a nice cozy fire, or cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal. Luckily you can prevent these issues by installing a custom-width chimney cap using one of our specialists.
Chimney Creosote Build-Up
Similar to the other obstructions, creosote buildup is a common issue for chimney owners. Creosote is a compound that’s created when smoke builds in the flue.
Creosote is extremely flammable and the more creosote your chimney has the more likely it is to cause a chimney fire. This issue can start with the substance eating away at the chimney liner and can cause damage to the interior brick as well.
We recommend scheduling an annual cleaning with a trusted CSIA-certified, chimney tech.
Debris and other Common Chimney Issues
Much like having critters nest in your flue, debris and overall weathering can damage your chimney over time. One commonly overlooked issue is wood rot which happens when chimney caps or chimneys are not properly installed. Other issues include creosote buildup, carbon monoxide poisoning from flue blockages, and mold growth due to a high moisture environment.
We know that scheduling a chimney inspection can often be an afterthought with all of life’s hustle and bustle. Yet, when you take preventative measures to maintain your chimney with a trusted CSIA-certified chimney company, these costly issues can be prevented.
If you’re located in the Greater Atlanta area, give us a call at (770) 790-4471 or contact us online!