What Technicians Look for During a Chimney Inspection
Do you remember the last time you had a chimney inspection? If the date has escaped your memory, then your chimney is probably long overdue for its annual inspection. While chimneys are built to last for decades, its continuous exposure to the environment causes the masonry to deteriorate.
In addition, there could be hidden issues brewing inside that have yet to surface. Let’s examine what our NFI certified woodburning technicians look for during a chimney inspection.
Bricks and Mortar
Our technicians will visually inspect the chimney masonry for potential leaks and structural problems. Bricks are composed of clay, a porous material that soaks up water like a sponge. And the constant freezing and thawing of moisture can cause cracks to appear on the surface. This can eventually lead to small chunks or even entire bricks and mortar falling from the chimney allowing water to penetrate inside the flue and potentially cause major structural issues.
Creosote is a natural by-product that is produced during the combustion of wood and other liquid and solid fuels. Since creosote is highly flammable and continues to accumulate with every burn, our certified technicians will inspect the amount of creosote contained in your flue. It is generally recommended to clean the chimney when the layer of creosote exceeds 1/8” to minimize the risk of a fire.
Chimney technicians will also look for any obstructions in the chimney. Debris, rodents and birds can get stuck and clog the flue. When the flue is clogged heat, smoke and toxic gases, including carbon monoxide can’t escape. This can increase the risk of fire and cause occupants to be exposed to carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning is called the silent killer because it is an odorless and colorless gas. Tiredness, nausea and headaches are common symptoms. Homeowners are encouraged to install carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of the home that uses liquid or solid fuel for heating or cooking.
Chimney Cap and Crown
The chimney cap and crown enclose the flue at the top of the chimney to keep water, debris and pests out of the chimney. Our chimney technician will check the chimney cap and crown to make sure it is intact and look for any visible signs of damage.
While the technician is on the roof inspecting the chimney cap, he will also inspect the flashing. The flashing is a thin metal sheet that connects the chimney to the roof line to form an airtight seal. Harsh weather and strong winds can damage the flashing, making it inefficient. This may result in leaks around the exterior part of the structure, allowing water to seep into the roof underlayment.
The National Fireplace Institute and fire safety experts recommend all homeowners with woodburning heating appliances have their chimney inspected at least once per year. Contact Chimney Specialists to schedule your annual chimney inspection today!