Performing your own inspection on a chimney, fireplace or stove isn’t exactly difficult, but it’s a messy endeavor that requires a bit of strategy to do properly. It’s also easy to miss warning signs of potential problems that you should ideally head off before they become more costly concerns.
Chimney Doctors, your local chimney masonry repair expert, shares five inspection tips to keep in mind when dealing with fireplaces, chimneys and wood-burning stoves.
1. Put on Your Safety Gear
Before anything else, you should put on your safety gear. Chimneys, stoves and fireplaces are hazardous and potentially toxic areas that can aggravate allergies and even cause serious health conditions. Whenever you’re doing an inspection, always wear a dust mask or respirator and safety goggles.
2. Check for Loose Joints
Be on a lookout for cracks and loosening joints in the firebox. For masonry fireplaces, it’s also a good idea to inspect the mortar and bricks for signs of damage. These problems are easy to repair at the start, but they can prove problematic if left unaddressed for too long.
3. Watch Out for Cracks in the Lining
You should also look for signs that the flue lining is cracking. Most cracks are very noticeable, but they are easy to miss if there’s severe buildup in the chimney or fireplace. Once you do spot cracks on the flue lining, it needs to be replaced. As your chimney relining expert, we’ll properly replace cracked flue lining so the chimney and fireplace are ready to handle extreme heat and stresses.
4. Check for Leaves and Nests
The chimney is a favorite nesting area for birds, and leaves often find their way inside the structure as well. Even if you use the fireplace rarely, it’s still important to remove stray foliage as they can obstruct the chimney, which will cause smoke not to exit the structure and instead spread throughout the room.
5. Check for Creosote
This is the sooty and ashy byproduct of smoke that sticks to the walls of the chimney. The residue can either be black or brown, and often has a glassy or flaky texture. Too much creosote buildup in the flue can cause fires, which can damage the wood framing and cause insulation to ignite.
As your local chimney sweep, Chimney Doctors is ready to address all of your chimney needs. Whether you need expert cleaning or flue lining replacement, you can count on us to get the job done the first time around.
Call us today at (518) 633-5900 to learn more about our services. We offer chimney relining in Saratoga Springs, NY.