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Homestead Chimney Service Blog

Creosotes & Other Chimney Problems

Better safe than sorry could be considered a correct phrase to use when referring to your chimney.  It is important that you have your annual maintenance done on your chimney on time and by someone who knows what they are doing.  This is usually a sweep and basic inspection, and should be done by a professional technician that is certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.  At the beginning of every season is when you should schedule, not just when you feel that something may be going wrong.  However, if you do feel that there is a problem you should call someone immediately to prevent harm toward, you, your family, or your home.  Homestead Chimney has a group of experienced professionals ready to help with any repairs of questions you may have.

It is much easier and less expensive to intervene early when your chimney shows signs of wear and tear.

It is much easier and less expensive to intervene early when your chimney shows signs of wear and tear.

Creosotes are a number one problem when causing malfunctions in chimneys.  Creosotes are formed when byproducts of burnt wood builds up on the side of the firebox area, and could eventually cause blockages that could lead to fire.  Also, if they are to build up on a throat damper it could prevent the metal plate from opening and closing correctly.  However, your annual sweep can prevent this problem.  Animals can also cause damage to the chimney when they bring in different types of material to bring nests, which could block the airflow.

Moisture can also harm the chimney as well.  It can be brought in off twigs and animals, but more commonly the weather.  When rain or melted snow gets inside of the structure it can rust the inside of the chimney.  If temperatures get low enough the water can freeze and thaw, overtime cracking the mortar.  If the water gets in an existing crack, it can mold and spread to the other parts of the home.  If you install a chimney cap it can work against letting the water in.  Settlement is another common issue and can cause a crack in the flue system, which means that carbon monoxide or smoke can get into the home and your air supply.  It is important to have any flue issue resolved immediately for the health of everyone in your home.

Call us today and lets get started improving the performance of your system.

Chimney Inspection is an Important Part of Having a Safe Chimney

Each season, it is imperative that you have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional. There are several areas both inside and outside of the chimney and fireplace the technician will check and clean. If any of these areas show abnormal wear or damage, the technician will recommend a course of action. Here are some areas that may require restoration upon inspection.

Chimney restoration will help keep your chimney safe

  • Chimney Liner – over time, the liner of the chimney can become damaged from regular use. In addition, the liner may be damaged from outside issues, such as water in the system that can cause structural damage. Your technician will present the best alternatives based on the type of flue you currently have and the extent of the damage.
  • Firebox – this is probably the area of your fireplace and chimney that takes the most significant damage every season due to the high temperatures. The technician will check for things such as loose or damaged bricks as well as warped or cracked panels if it is a prefabricated fireplace.
  • Chimney Cap – this small piece of the chimney plays one of the most important roles in protecting your chimney. If you do not already have one in place, the technician will more than likely recommend installing one. If it is damaged, it must be replaced or fixed. This prevents things like water and birds from getting into your chimney, but also prevents embers from leaving the chimney and potentially causing a fire.
  • Dampers – the damper basically opens and closes your chimney from the outside air source. If the damper is damaged, you may not be able to open the flue when it is in use, causing a backdraft of smoke into the home. If it is stuck open, you are paying to heat the great outdoors. Either way, this needs to be fixed or replaced if damaged.
  • Waterproofing – by treating the chimney with a waterproofing agent, the chimney will deflect damp elements, such as snow and rain, rather than allow them to penetrate the brick. This can save the homeowner significant money down the road in repairs.