A fireplace and a chimney may add a whole lot of character to your house, but at the same time, they also bring a whole lot of maintenance issues with them. All these potential issues need to be nipped in the bud to ensure proper functionality and a long life.
Some of the most common chimney issues involve things like:
- A blockage
- Flue cracks
- Brickwork problems
- Problems related to the chimney cap and the crown
In this article, we’ll discuss all these things in greater detail. So pay attention as closely as possible.
This is one of the commonest chimney issues of all and is dangerous at the same time.
Chimney blockage usually occurs when a fireplace or a chimney hasn’t been in use for a very long time. It can happen as a result of a number of factors such as:
- Bird’s nest or even dead bird.
Note: The blockage can also occur as a result of faulty masonry. So keep an eye out for the same.
It’s therefore recommended for you to have your chimneys inspected annually by a professional chimney cleaner. A small step like that can save you a lot of hassle for tomorrow.
When wood is burned inside a fireplace, more than just smoke goes up the chimney. That “extra something” is known as creosote that deposits itself on the chimney walls.
Creosote is nothing but black or dark brown tar that forms on the chimney walls with constant use over time.
There are several forms of creosote. Almost all of them are dangerous because of their inflammable nature.
A slight mistake here and a small mistake there can result in a chimney fire which can inflict irreparable damage on the whole. Hence, proper maintenance must be done to nip this problem in the bud. A professional chimney cleaning service can help.
3. Flue cracks
When fireplaces are initially built, a certain chimney lining is also included for aesthetic and safety purposes.
The commonest and the most economical form of chimney lining is clay tile; one that’s not as durable as the ones made from stainless steel. The ones made from stainless steel have a longer life and virtually never has to be replaced again in the nearly foreseeable future.
But in case you have a chimney that’s tiled with clay tiles, in particular, make sure you pay special attention to its round-the-year maintenance for your own good.
One of the most important things that you should remember is the fact that most chimney linings are subjected to a humongous amount of heat and stress. So naturally if it’s not constructed of steel, they often get damaged over time.
A damaged flu is a dangerous piece of business indeed and may result in an accident if proper maintenance is not done at that particular moment in time. It’s also advisable to avoid the use of the fireplace until the lining is replaced by a professional and reliable chimney cleaning service.
4. Brickwork issues
Chimney masonry should ideally last for centuries depending on the condition of the mortar. But with the deterioration of mortar, the entire system of the chimney gets exposed to moisture which, in turn, may lead to brickwork problems.
The best solution is to replace mortar from time to time to ensure that the chimney system remains unexposed from moisture in the best possible manner. A professional chimney cleaning can service can help with that.
5. Issues related to the chimney cap and the chimney crown
The chimney cap and the crown plays a crucial role in keeping the moisture out. If either of these gets damaged, moisture can enter into the chimney and can wreak havoc. So make sure you do accordingly to keep the problem at bay in the best possible manner.
Extra information: How to recognize chimney fire in three simple steps
It’s pretty easy to detect whether your chimney’s on fire or not. Keep an eye or ear out for these signs, in particular:
- Flames popping out from the top of the chimney (The most obvious one).
- Mountainous clouds of black smoke coming out of the chimney (The obvious one).
- Chimney sounding like a freight train. (The not-so-obvious one).
Finally, do remember that the importance of chimney maintenance should never be ignored, especially, if you want to keep the odds of a household fire low for your very own good.
In case you encounter any chimney-related issue in your very own house, do not hesitate to opt for the services of a professional chimney cleaning service. Like we said before, a constructive step like that today can save you a lot hassle for tomorrow.