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Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Fall Is The Time To Check Your Fireplace And Chimney
As days get
shorter and weather gets colder, we retreat indoors to the warmth of our homes
and fireplaces.If you have a fireplace,
fall is a great time to make sure the chimney and flue are in good working
order.You can check yourself or call in
a chimney professional to diagnose the chimney and fireplace for any problem
before it gets big, expensive and potentially dangerous.
Visually assess the
chimney from the outside.Is it
leaning?Are there any chipped bricks or
masonry joints?Do you see any cracks or
holes?If your chimney is factory-built
metal, look for any corrosion, stains or loose sections.If your chimney is exposed to your attic,
make sure to check there as well.Look
for any signs indicating repairs are necessary.
A good cap can reduce
damage caused to a chimney by water and wildlife.Rain and snow can enter an uncapped chimney,
and subsequently freeze and thaw, causing expansion damage.Small wildlife can nest in chimneys, creating
clogs and potentially introducing fleas, ticks, worms and other disease-causing
pests to your home.A chimney cap with
screen mesh will keep animals out while shielding your roof from embers and
Inside the house,
check the area around your chimney for any stains or dampness.These could be caused by faulty flashing
around the chimney at the roof line, or by a damaged flue liner. If you see signs of water around your chimney,
call a chimney professional right away.
Open the clean-out
door from the base of the flue, located either in your basement or outside the
house.Using a small mirror and
flashlight to see up the flue, look for buildup of soot and also any cracks,
holes or separations.If in doubt, give
your chimney professional a call for a good checkup and cleaning.
Check the brickwork in your fireplace for
wear.Check the damper as well, it
should open and close easily.Look into
the smoke chamber above the damper to check for buildup of soot.Again, call your chimney professional for
service if you see any of these telltale signs.
Chimney safety should be a high priority for
every homeowner.With regular
maintenance, your fireplace and chimney can give you years of wonderful
service. A chimney professional can spot
things that even a diligent homeowner could miss.Call on a pro to do regular cleanings and
safety checks as part of your home-maintenance routine.Then throw another log on the fire, sit back