When Should I Schedule a Chimney Inspection?
A chimney inspection should be scheduled every year, and the best time is in summer. At least two leading fire safety organizations strongly recommend that homeowners have their chimneys inspected every year. Those organizations are the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Ask any professional chimney sweep company, and they will tell you that there are clear benefits to having your chimney checked for damage when the weather is warm in summer.
Reasons to Schedule Annual Chimney Inspections
Statistics provide part of the motivation for the above-referenced recommendation by the NFPA and the CSIA. Every year, poorly maintained chimneys are a leading cause of hearth-related home fires. Inspections are also important because there are many things that can go wrong with the use of solid fuel burning appliances, and chimneys are highly vulnerable to damage caused by moisture. The following are more reasons to schedule annual chimney inspections:
- Whenever there is a wood fire, a highly flammable material called creosote is deposited in the chimney flue. Creosote in the chimney can catch fire. If there is a significant amount of creosote in the chimney, it could result in a raging chimney fire that causes a hazardous house fire.
- Acidic material deposited in masonry and metal chimneys during fires can cause accelerated deterioration of the chimney lining. If the chimney lining has even a small amount of damage, the heat from the chimney can reach combustible parts of the home, which can result in a home fire.
- Animals such as birds, raccoons, snakes, and squirrels often climb into chimneys. Some of the animals build nests, which cause blockage in the chimney. When a chimney is obstructed, toxic combustion materials enter the home instead of going up the chimney. As a result, occupants in the house can be exposed to carbon monoxide, which is known as the “Silent Killer” because it is invisible, tasteless, odorless, and deadly.
- Chimney obstruction can also occur if pine cones, twigs, leaves, and other debris go into the chimney.
- Chimneys can be seriously damaged if moisture gets into the masonry, and there are many ways moisture can get in.
Reasons to Schedule a Chimney Inspection in Summer
As a homeowner, you are fortunate if you recognize the importance of annual chimney inspections. The inspections reveal hazards and place you in a position to repair any damage before further use of your fireplace or wood stove. The following are reasons to schedule annual chimney inspections in summer:
- The most trusted chimney sweep companies get busy once the weather begins to get cool. When you schedule a chimney inspection in summer, you are more likely to get an appointment at a time most convenient for you.
- If any chimney repairs are needed, summer is the best time for them to be done. For instance, if any type of brickwork is required, the mortar cures best in summer. Tuckpointing and mortar replacement are common types of repair needed on a chimney.
- You can schedule waterproofing for your chimney, to add extra protection against moisture.
- During an inspection, undetected leaks can be discovered. You can get repairs done before further damage occurs. Vulnerable parts of the chimney include the flashing, chimney crown, and chimney cap.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection in the Richmond VA Area
For a reliable chimney inspection by licensed, trained professionals trusted in the Richmond VA area, call Chimney Saver Solutions at 804-440-5000 today.