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Chimneys and Fireplaces Need Servicing

Chimney problems are notoriously sneaky. One of the most beneficial reasons to schedule annual chimney and fireplace inspections as recommended by fire safety experts is to catch problems as early as possible. If ongoing chimney sweep services are neglected, unseen problems can wreak havoc. When it comes to chimneys and various aspects of fireplaces, remember that regular cleanings catch chimney issues early and help cut repair costs and keep your home and family safer. The following are signs that your chimney or fireplace needs servicing.

Evidence of Moisture Intrusion

chimney damage, carytown virginiaMoisture is the biggest enemy to chimneys, and there are numerous ways in which moisture intrusion causes masonry to be destroyed. The following are a few of the signs that water has entered your masonry, which means that freezing and thawing cycles in winter will cause the irreversible destruction of the bricks:

  • Your home has a chimney leak as evidenced by water stains on the ceiling or walls near the fireplace.
  • You see white stains on your chimney, which is known as efflorescence.
  • Holes in the exterior masonry or bits of masonry debris can be seen in the fireplace or around the chimney’s exterior.
  • You notice various components inside your fireplace are rusting.

Clues There is Excess Creosote

Creosote is the flammable combustion byproduct left behind with every wood fire. Getting a glimpse inside your chimney to check on creosote buildup usually requires climbing onto the roof, which is truly dangerous. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a leading fire safety organization, recommends annual chimney cleaning in addition to the annual inspections that all experts agree on. If you are unsure about the condition of your chimney liner and the amount of creosote inside, the following are among the signs that there is excess creosote and that cleaning is needed without delay:

  • Your fireplace smells like a campfire whether there is or has recently been a fire burning or not.
  • Around the top of your chimney, black soot is visible. This is an indication of excess creosote buildup.
  • If getting a fire started produces more than the usual amount of smoke backing up into your home, it could be because layers of creosote have caused blockage inside the flue liner that hinders the chimney draft.
  • If a chimney fire starts in your chimney and persists, the presence of creosote is likely continually feeding the fire, creating the potential for a dangerous house fire.

Note: If you realize there is a chimney fire in your chimney, vacate everyone from the home immediately, and call the fire department.

Signs of Creatures in the Chimney

chimney swifts, ashland vaIf you do not have a chimney cap with mesh at the top of your chimney flue, you could get a visit from one or more kinds of critters. Birds, opossums, squirrels, snakes, raccoons, rats, and other animals often enter chimneys. It is essential to call a chimney sweep expert about animal removal because there are various dangers involved with handling wild creatures and their waste. The following are signs that you may need chimney and fireplace servicing because of the presence of one or more animals:

  • You can hear flapping or screeching coming from your chimney.
  • The animal waste left behind in your chimney and/or fireplace is causing unpleasant odors that can be detected near the fireplace.
  • If you smell an indescribably horrendous stench, it is likely because an animal died, not being able to climb back out of your chimney.

Contact Chimney Saver Solutions Today

You can rely on the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Chimney Saver Solutions to help you reduce overall chimney repair costs and to handle animal and waste removal. We conduct chimney inspections, chimney cleaning, chimney maintenance, and more, all of which will help you avoid the much higher expenses associated with extensive chimney and fireplace damage. Call Chimney Saver Solutions today at 804-440-5000 for help from trusted chimney sweep experts identifying signs that your chimney or fireplace needs repair.

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