Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Chimney Fire Facts

We always hear about the romantic features of a chimney as well as the heating benefits when buying a home. What the real estate agents or existing homeowners do not tell you is about the dangers of fires. Now, this is not to scare you away from buying a home with a chimney or in having one installed; you just need to be aware of these dangers and how to prevent a fire from happening out of sheer ignorance.

The facts about chimney fires

Creosote buildup is one of the leading causes of chimney fires. Wood burning fireplaces can generate significant creosote buildup within the lining of the chimney. It only takes one eighth of an inch to be considered dangerous. This is a highly combustible material, and it is one of the main reasons we recommend an annual chimney inspection and cleaning.

When purchasing a home, there are several signs for which you can look to see if there was previously a chimney fire. You, or a professional, should look for these signs prior to purchase, as they could result in costly repairs in order to operate the fireplace safely again.

  1. Honey-combed creosote buildup
  2. Cracked flue tiles or tiles that have large chunks missing
  3. A discolored chimney cap
  4. If the TV antenna or satellite dish is located close to the chimney, check for discoloration
  5. Creosote flakes found inside of fireplace or in surrounding area outside of home (they may have been discharged from the chimney and carried by the wind)
  6. Warped metal damper
  7. Discolored or cracked masonry work on exterior of chimney

If you see any of these signs, call a certified chimney sweep immediately to have the chimney professionally inspected. There are multiple levels of inspections related to potential problems. In this case, you may have the upper tier of inspections to outline and problems as well as a plan of action to have the chimney repaired.

By on November 17th, 2012 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment