Home Improvement

Common Chimney Problems for New Homeowners and How to Deal With It

During the cooler months gathering by a roaring fire or simply bringing in some warmth into a home not only creates a cozy atmosphere but it also brings in a touch of elegance. Of course, to achieve this it pays to have a fully functioning fireplace and chimney. A poorly performing one, on the other hand, brings nothing but headaches. More often than not, the problem lies in the chimney and not the fireplace itself, this is a fact that many new homeowners may not consider. It is good practice to keep the entire fireplace and smokestack unit well maintained, of course, some issues are unavoidable here are some to look out for and would require a chimney repair service.

The Buildup of Creosote

Soot and creosote build-up every time smoke rise through a chimney. Creosote is a mixture of soot and brown tar — fine carbon powder. The deposits that buildup in this lining is an unavoidable process. There are three known types of creosote, each one can result in deadly fires. Furthermore, it should be noted that aside from fires the presence of too much creosote can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning due to the obstruction it has caused. The simple solution is to always have the chimney cleaned.

Flue Problems

Stacks that are built with a clay tile lining are prone to problems over a period of time. Due to the high heat that passes through chimneys, lots of wear and tear is to be expected. Linings within the chimney that are made of materials that aren’t as durable will compromise the layers. Even more worrisome is the possibility that these issues can affect surrounding areas of the home through the cracks in the clay tiles. Reports have shown that countless house fires are a result of the neglected chimney repair.

Damaged Caps or Crowns

Caps and crowns ensure that smokestacks are protected against external elements like snow or rain etc.

That said, a broken crown or damaged cap will leave a chimney vulnerable to a large variety of problems that no homeowner really wants to deal with. Routine inspection, maintenance, and chimney repair make a world of difference.

Deterioration of Brickwork

In essence, the brickwork used to build the chimney structure should last a lifetime. Unfortunately, the mortar holds the bricks in place is bound to deteriorate sooner than later. As a result, gaps in the framework are created ant it leaves the entire chimney exposed to moisture. This, in turn, results in the rapid detonation on the edifice.

Other Obstructions

Aside from obstruction from the buildup of creosote, there are numerous other things that can cause chimney obstructions that can prove to be dangerous. Other than obstructions from regularly used stacks, chimneys that have been left unused for long periods of time can also have some internal blockages. Twigs, birds nests, animals, leaves, broken masonry and some objects can cause obstructions. For safety purposes, chimneys that have been neglected for a while should be cleaned and serviced before being fired up.