Imagine sitting in front of the warm fireplace soaking in the hot embers with a mug of hot chocolate and a romantic novel by your side. The relaxing feeling and bliss is unexplainable and surely you would not be thinking about the condition of your fireplace or chimney repair, in fact you are not even concerned, but shouldn’t you be?
Chimney And Fireplace Inspection
Truly a fireplace is a blessing in disguise but its efficient working and maintenance should be your topmost priority. In around 80% of the cases, homes have had chimney fires and they did not know a thing about it and not even cared to get their chimney inspected. This way you are exposing yourself, your property and family to serious danger. The cases of a blasting chimney with fires are rare while most of the chimney fires are slow burning fires which damages the chimney to the extent of no repair and homeowners have no inkling about it. With proper care and maintenance and regular chimney inspections by professionals you can completely avoid these silent chimney fires.
The Surefire Signs Of A Chimney Fire
As a layman, you would not know that you have had a chimney fire, and you will need to call in an expert for inspection.
- Broken, cracked or about to collapse tiles in the interior chimney lining.
- The creosote in the interior lining has turned honey comb type or puffed up.
- Damaged, out of shape and discolored chimney cap and rain cap.
- The broken pieces and flakes of creosote on the floor and the roof.
- Distorted metal chamber, disfigured chimney damper made of metal, the metal pipes, the interior masonry and the metal chimney is all warped up.
- The material and masonry of the roof was damaged due to high temperatures and hot creosote.
- The exterior masonry is cracked.
- The mortar is melted.
- Damage to the nearby walls, ceiling and other structures such as the TV antenna attached to the chimney.
- The indication of smoke escaping from the broken tiles, the cracked mortar joints and the tile liners.
The Causes Of Silent Chimney Fires
There is only one culprit, YOU, who has decided to destroy your chimney, your home, and your family. When you install a chimney, you have to get it cleaned by a chimney sweep regularly or else it can go dirty very quickly. Whether you burn fire once in a blue moon regularly, creosote will start to deposit on the insides of the chimney. Creosote is a sticky tar like substance that might be wet or hardened and accumulates on the interior chimney. Creosote is combustible and very dangerous and acts as an obstruction for the smoke, flame and gases to easily escape the chimney opening. The buildup increases with time if left unattended and can cause chimney fires. There are certain factors that contribute to the increase in the buildup of creosote.
- Improper ventilation restricts the air supply which causes the smoke to stay in the flue for a long time causing more buildup of the creosote. Closed damper or damper not open enough, closed windows in the homes restricts the air supply. Ventilation brings in clean air from the outside causing the smoke to escape fast.
- Using wet and unseasoned wood causing more energy to burn the water initially and thus more smoke. Dry and seasoned wood should always be used for fires.
- In the case of wooden stoves, a lot of wood takes time to burn causing cooler flu temperatures causing more condensation and thus creosote buildup.
How To Avoid Chimney Fires?
These types of silent chimney fires are very dangerous and occur at extreme high temperatures. The chimney gets completely damaged from the exterior and interior along with the masonry and mortar. You should regularly call in the professionals for thorough chimney cleaning and if you notice any sign of a chimney fire, you should take your family members out and call in the emergency services. As the house can also get burnt down or other dangerous mishap can happen.
If you have a blessing in the name of a chimney then you have to take care of it as well or it can quickly escalate into a curse. Get in contact with chimney contractors Bowie for a quick inspection of your chimney and fireplace.