Did you know that poorly maintained fireplaces are one of the most dangerous causes of house fires? From embers to obstructed flues, a vital home heating source can quickly become an unsafe condition. Here are a few maintenance and repair ideas that will keep your family safe.
Interior Fireplace Inspection Tips
As the latest Chimney Safety Institute Of America statistics show, 22,500 residential house fires started in the fireplace, chimney, or chimney connector making it a serious safety concern. It also costs homeowners more than $200 million in damage which a chimney inspection would have prevented. To reduce these statistics, CSIA recommends an annual inspection take place.
- Inspect The Firebox
Rusted, cracked, and loosened masonry joints are problematic. It is an easy issue for you to spot during an inspection. It is also a simple issue to repair with refractory cement. Because this is a safety issue, we advise you to hire a fireplace expert to seal it.
Because the fireplace is dark and dirty, you will need to use a flashlight to look for flue liner cracks. You must also use your hand to feel for a tight placement. You should feel a smooth surface free of defects that would allow the heat or fire to make contact with the wall and the material behind the flue. If you find any issues, call for a repair appointment.
The damper in your fireplace should easily open and close. While examining it, you will also want to check for evidence of rusting, pitting, or cracking. If you notice any of these issues, you will need to have them replaced before using your fireplace again.
Exterior Chimney Inspection Tips
- Unblock Debris From Chimney
If you have inspected your chimney from the roof, you know that wildlife love to make nests in the spring when you are not using your fireplace. If you find any blockages, it is vital that you clear the path to avoid potential fires.
- Check Mortar Joints, Flashing, And Bricks
Inspecting the exterior of your chimney for defects is just as critical as the interior. You need to check your flashing seal. You may find bricks that need resealing. You should also check mortar joints for defects or rust. If you find anything amiss, you will need to apply cement compound or call our experts to inspect and repair anything amiss.
- Inspect the Chimney Exterior
Just as you checked the fireplace from below, you will need to check it from the roof. It is important to check for soot deposits or chemical build-up from wood creosote. If you have not had your chimney cleaned in a while, it is an indicator that you need a cleaning.
- Check For Water Damage
When is the last time you had a waterproof sealant applied to your chimney? It is a critical component that hinders damage and slows the need for future repairs as water damage will rust the metal material quickly and cause mortar deterioration.
You can do a DIY inspection or schedule an appointment with our office at 978-977-3816. You can also contact us on our Facebook page as well as learn fireplace and chimney DIY ideas.