Common Chimney Problems
What might be discovered when your chimney is scrutinized during an inspection? To the surprise of many homeowners, common chimney problems that arise are numerous. Home safety is compromised anytime a fireplace is used willly-nilly. Don’t just close your eyes to possible problems and light that match. Before using your fireplace, make sure your home has none of the common chimney problems that expose you to danger or great and avoidable expense. There is no one better to call in the Richmond VA area than the CSIA-certified experts at Chimney Saver Solutions.
Excess Creosote Buildup
Creosote is a byproduct of wood fires, and it is one of the most common of the common chimney problems. The leading cause of chimney fires, creosote is tar-like and highly flammable. Excess creosote increases the chances that an ember floating up your chimney will ignite a destructive and life-threatening chimney fire.
The presence of creosote buildup greater than 1/8” is evidence that chimney cleaning services should be scheduled before using your fireplace. Thick layers of creosote can even cause blockage in the flue. When this happens, toxic gases enter the home instead of exiting through the chimney, as they are supposed to.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is among the toxic gases produced by fires. The reason it is essential to install carbon monoxide detectors in a home with a fireplace is because CO is potentially deadly. It is known as The Silent Killer because you can’t taste, smell, or see it. Neither can you (for a while) feel any effects of carbon monoxide. Every year, due to common chimney problems, people are overcome by CO fumes before realizing something is wrong.
Most common chimney problems are the result of moisture getting into the masonry. Water can get into masonry in the following ways and more:
- Through a cracked chimney crown
- The metal chimney flashing was installed incorrectly
- No chimney cap
- The mortar is cracked and flaking off
White staining on the chimney, known as efflorescence, is evidence that the masonry needs to be replaced because it means that water has worked its way into the masonry.
The problem with water in masonry is what happens in winter. Freezing and thawing cycles of winter cause destructive movement in bricks as the water expands and contracts. Once water gets into masonry, it must be replaced. Partial and complete chimney masonry rebuilds are avoidable expenses because routine maintenance helps to keep water out.
A Damaged Chimney Flue
The chimney flue liner should be repaired or replaced if it has even a tiny crack in it. That’s because the chimney flue provides critical protection. Dangerous as the situation is, a damaged flue is a common chimney problem.
Combustible parts of the home near the chimney are protected against the effects of extreme heat (spontaneous combustion) only by an intact flue. And carbon monoxide would be able to stealthily penetrate the living areas of your home if it weren’t for the flue liner.
Richmond VA Experts Provide Fixes for Common Chimney Problems
The friendly experts at Chimney Saver Solutions are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). They are qualified to diagnose and fix common chimney problems and those that are not so common, as well. In an unregulated industry like chimney sweeping, it’s important to be sure you are trusting your home safety to a proven company.
Light your fireplace with confidence this winter. Call Chimney Saver Solutions at 804-440-5000 to schedule a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, fireplace installation, a chimney masonry rebuild, flashing repair, chimney leak repair, and more. You can also schedule an appointment by filling out our quick-and-easy online form.