If you have a fireplace, you likely appreciate the aesthetic appeal it adds to your home. It may even be one of the reasons you decided to purchase your home. Despite their beauty and charm, fireplaces that are not properly maintained can cause property damage even if they are rarely or never used.  In the case of fireplaces, there is a risk for chimney fires if homeowners operate them without routine servicing and inspections. Chimney fires and carbon monoxide are significant and potentially fatal consequences. The following points will help you to identify circumstances that can negatively impact fireplace operation.

Construction

It is possible that the chimney in your home was not installed correctly. This can result in issues that are evident over time. For example, you might notice signs of deterioration in the mortar. It is also possible for chimney bricks to deteriorate due to quality, but age may also be a factor when bricks crumble. Another construction issue you could face is an issue with the flue being installed incorrectly. Flues are not a one-size-fits-all chimney component. Improper sizing can pose a safety risk. You may also discover after having a chimney inspection performed that your chimney installation was never finished. This means that some safety components may be missing.

Severe Weather

Most people likely consider durable areas of their homes to be made from bricks or similar materials. This can create a false sense of security when weather events occur. Severe weather can damage your chimney, and it is wise to get it inspected if events such as high wind situations, earthquakes or tremors, and hail storms occur. If a contractor informs you that you have soil erosion issues, those issues can also negatively impact the integrity of your chimney due to earth shifting.

Leaks

Anyone with a chimney can experience leaks regardless of whether their chimneys are ever used. Leaks can cause water damage to occur in areas that are not a part of the fireplace system. Leaks can cause deterioration of building materials. They may also lead to mold growth and offensive musty odors. They are a fire hazard because they expose critical components of chimneys and make them susceptible to damage.

A chimney sweep can identify problems with chimneys. They can inspect your fireplace and its complete design to ensure that it is safe to operate. Do not make the mistake of judging your fireplace or chimney by appearance and assuming that there are not any existing hazards. Inspections need to be performed by licensed and certified individuals because some damages may not be as obvious for an average person to identify. They are also the best option for making repairs if needed. 

Contact a company like A & A Chimney Sweep to get help with your chimney.

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