4 Reasons to Schedule Chimney Inspections Like Clockwork
There are times when it’s okay to take friendly advice and other times when it’s important to strictly listen to the experts. When it comes to fireplace and chimney safety, who better to listen to than organizations devoted to preventing fires? The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the nation’s leading resource on fire hazards. After years of research, the NFPA has consistently recommended that chimney inspections be scheduled every year, no matter what type of winter has just passed. Unfortunately, many people become part of tragic fire statistics, when they fail to have their chimney inspected and properly maintained. In fact, a significant percentage of homeowners literally wait until a dangerous situation has occurred before taking action on chimney maintenance. The following are four reasons to be proactive about chimney inspections.
1-Structure fire statistics from NFPA
The latest study from the NFPA on heating equipment fires encompassed the years 2009-2013. Heating equipment fires were responsible for 16% of all reported home fires during that period, which was second to cooking as a cause. Of the home fire deaths that occurred, heating equipment accounted for 19%, second only to fires caused by smoking materials.
The leading contributing factor to home heating fires, at 30%, was failure to clean primarily solid-fueled heating equipment, which mostly involved chimneys that had not been properly maintained.
2-The chimney history is a mystery
If you have purchased a new home or if you are renting a home with a fireplace, it can be very dangerous to light a fire without knowing if there has been a recent inspection. Numerous conditions within the chimney could turn a fire into a catastrophe. There could be so much creosote buildup that the highly flammable substance catches fire. Chimney fires can easily cause house fires, and they often do. There could be leaves and other types of debris in the chimney. Any obstructions could cause toxic fumes, including deadly carbon monoxide, to enter your home.
3-The flue is cracked
The flue lining must be in sound condition, to safely use your fireplace. If there is even a small crack in the flue, combustible parts of the home can be exposed to extreme heat and catch fire. It can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to spot damage to the flue using the naked eye. Professional chimney sweeps have all of the best equipment, to ensure that your chimney is safe. This includes checking the entire length of a flue using a special camera.
4-Animals and their nests
During a chimney inspection, you may find out that some type of critter has set up house in your chimney. Birds often build nests in chimneys. All sorts of critters seeking warmth can be drawn there, including snakes and raccoons. Expert technicians should be the ones to remove animals, since they could be diseased. To prevent the problem from occurring again, a professional chimney sweep will usually suggest that a chimney cap be installed. If you have a chimney cap, another reason for an inspection is to have the exterior of your chimney thoroughly checked for signs of moisture and structural damage. The sooner such issues are identified, the less expensive the repairs.
Schedule Your Chimney Inspection
If it’s been more than a year since your last chimney inspection, why not get started following the advice of leading safety experts? Contact the trained, certified experts at Chimney Saver Solutions for all of your chimney needs. The most trusted chimney company in the Richmond area can be counted on to provide a thorough inspection and, ultimately, peace of mind, knowing you can safely use your chimney.