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How to Prevent These Common Dangers of Neglected Chimney Maintenance

A lot can go wrong with a chimney, but fortunately you can prevent many problems by keeping your chimney maintained and clean. A neglected chimney can quickly turn into a dangerous chimney as a result of structural problems, drafting issues or a chimney fire. Here are some ways to prevent the dangers of a neglected chimney.

Keep your eyes open for chimney issues

Chimney Inspection in Madison, TNWhile you probably aren’t a chimney services expert, you can watch and observe. Between professional chimney inspections, here are some things to look for.

  • Crumbling bricks and mortar around the base of the exterior chimney
  • Loose, missing or decayed bricks
  • Dislodged roof flashing
  • Cracks in the cement chimney crown at the top of the chimney
  • White stains (water infiltration) on the chimney’s exterior masonry
  • Smoke backing up into the house
  • Strong, unpleasant odors coming from the firebox
  • A rusty, hard-to-adjust damper
  • Wet patches on walls and the ceiling near the fireplace
  • Water dripping into the firebox

If you notice any of these or anything else unusual, arrange for a chimney inspection to find out exactly what’s going on.

Damage prevention step 1: Have your chimney inspected

An inspection performed by a CSIA-certified chimney technician can locate early signs of damage within your chimney system so it can be repaired before it gets out of hand. A thorough basic chimney inspection includes all visible areas of the chimney as well as the chimney cap, crown, flashing, damper and other components. Scheduling yearly chimney inspections followed by any necessary repairs or cleaning work is an excellent way to prevent chimney fires, major water damage, progressive decay of the chimney masonry and much more.

Damage prevention step 2: Keep your chimney clean

Professional Chimney Sweep In McMinnville, TNCertified chimney sweeps use specialized tools and equipment to remove flammable creosote and drafting obstructions from your flue. Every fire-safety agency in the U.S. recommends annual chimney cleaning to greatly reduce the risk of a chimney fire. Creosote can ignite and start a fire, and it also can eat away at the chimney liner and the internal bricks and mortar of a chimney. The substance is highly corrosive and should not be allowed to cling to the flue year after year. Along with creosote removal, chimney sweeps will also clean out leaves, twigs, tree fruit, small-animal nests and dead small animals, all of which can hinder the drafting of smoke. When smoke backs up into the home, it carries with it carbon monoxide, which can be fatal to people and animals.

Damage prevention step 3: Schedule chimney repairs when needed

Timely chimney repairs can save huge amounts of work and expense down the line by solving problems when they’re easy to solve. Water damage, structural decay and blazing chimney fires all can be prevented or minimized by arranging for chimney repair and cleaning services from a licensed chimney expert. When a repair is needed, see that it gets done right away.

To recap, here’s how to avoid the dangers of a neglected chimney:

  • Inspections once a year
  • Professional chimney sweeping once a year
  • Repairs as soon as problems are uncovered

A-1 Chimney Specialist serves customers throughout the Winchester, TN, and Huntsville, AL, regions. We specialize in CSIA-certified chimney inspections, chimney sweeping, chimney repair and structural rebuilding. Call the experts, and get the job done right the first time.

Call (931) 967-3595 in the Winchester area or (256) 285-4895 in and around Huntsville.