Chimney fires are a harrowing experience, and they happen more often than many homeowners think. Even with plenty of safety precautions in place, accidents can still happen, and even the smallest chimney fires will cause some damage. If you’ve recently had a chimney fire at home, you may be wondering what steps to take next. Here’s why chimney fires happen, how to recover from one, and how to prevent chimney fires in the future.
Chimney fires often happen as a result of an accidental flue blockage, which prevents the fire from ventilating properly. They can also happen as a result of creosote buildup in your chimney from a lack of chimney sweeping or cleaning. Creosote is a highly flammable byproduct of wood-burning fires.
Chimney fires cause an excessive amount of smoke and an overwhelming odor. You may hear a popping or rumbling sound while the fire is happening. A chimney fire is also likely to warp or break internal components of your chimney and can even damage your external masonry in extreme cases.
Chimney fires are often terrifying, and you might not know what to do after you’ve gotten the fire under control. It’s important to completely stop using your fireplace until you can seek professional help. After a chimney fire, there is likely to be a large volume of creosote buildup and other flammable material in the chimney, as well as dangerous structural issues.
Make an appointment with a certified chimney sweep in your area to conduct a thorough inspection and deep clean. Your chimney sweep will help you remove any excess creosote and debris from the fire. They will also recommend and schedule repairs to get your chimney back in working order. If you’ve experienced a severe chimney fire, you may also need to hire contractors to rebuild your chimney. Don’t attempt to clean or repair your chimney on your own – there may be structural damage that you can’t see, which would put you at risk of injury.
There are plenty of steps you can take to prevent future chimney fires. One of the easiest ways to prevent them is to sweep up after each fire to prevent creosote from building up. Make sure the fire is completely extinguished and the embers have been cooled before sweeping. Using dry, seasoned logs will also reduce your chances of creosote buildup.
You should also make sure to schedule a professional chimney inspection each year. A professional chimney sweep will remote dangerous creosote buildup that you can’t access on your own. If there is any debris blocking the chimney flue, they can remove that as well.
Whether you’ve experienced a chimney fire or just need to schedule your yearly chimney inspection, Chimney Solutions is here to help. We offer chimney cleaning, repairs, and preventative maintenance services. For services in the Atlanta area, give us a call at 770-255-1300. For services in Chattanooga, TN, call us at 423-551-9912 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!