While fireplaces add a decorator dimension to most homes, they have a function that is very important. The chimney and flue are intended to carry gases from your fireplace, wood stove or furnace safely out of your home. This action allows for healthy, breathable air in a home. It is important, therefore to keep your chimney clean. A dirty chimney can cause a chimney fire which will damage structures, destroy your home and potentially injure or kill someone.
Chimney fires can be loud and dramatic, or quiet and slow burning. Some homeowners report hearing a low, rumbling sound that resembles a freight train. Others never hear a sound.
Since a chimney damaged by a chimney fire can endanger a home and its occupants and can occur without anyone being aware of it, you should have your chminey regularly inspected by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. Here ar the signs that professional chimney sweep looks for:
- "Puffy" or "honey combed" creosote
- Warped metal of the damper, metal smoke chamber concector pipe or factory-built metal chimney
- Cracked or collapsed flue tiles, or tiles with large chunks missing
- Discolored and or distorted rain cap
- Heat-damaged TV antenna attached to the chimney
- Creosote flakes and pieces found on the roof or ground
- Roofing material damaged from hot creosote
- Cracks in exterior masonry
- Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners.