If you have ever wondered why the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), along with numerous other fire safety and government health organizations, recommend an annual chimney sweeping and inspection, “dirty chimneys kill.” While we are not trying to scare you into scheduling your yearly chimney cleaning, Hudson Chimney would like to tell you exactly why you need an annual chimney sweep and inspection, so you can understand the urgency behind following this important step of chimney maintenance.
1. A chimney sweeping removes the buildup of creosote from the walls of your chimney.
If you burn wood, creosote will occur naturally during condensation from when smoke, gases, and vapors from your fireplace exits the upper, cooler walls of your chimney. Sticking around as a residue, creosote can be black or brown and varies in appearance. Whether it is shiny and hard, crusted and flaky, or gummy and tar-like, creosote is highly combustible. If enough of the creosote residue builds up in your chimney and the internal flue reaches high temperatures, you have the makings of a dangerous chimney fire. An annual chimney cleaning from a CSIA-certified company like Hudson Chimney can remove creosote deposits before they can become large enough to ignite a fire.
2. A chimney inspection will alert you to any water penetration damage that might exist in your chimney.
If you own a masonry chimney, you should know that the CSIA has called water the number one enemy of the bricks and mortar of your chimney. For good reasons, water penetration can cause extensive and expensive damages and repairs to masonry fireplaces and chimneys. From loose bricks and mortar to rusted appliances to serious structural deterioration, the destruction caused by water can be alarming. Hudson Chimney can find the leak that is causing the damage, repair the leak and damage, and then apply a waterproofing sealant to prevent any more water penetration of your masonry chimney.
3. A chimney sweeping and inspection can prevent toxic gases like carbon monoxide from entering your home.
Unfortunately, cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are on the rise, due to the focus on energy-efficiency. While the temperate air is sealed in, saving you money, the toxic by-products of combustion are also sealed inside, as air flow has been restricted. If there is not enough oxygen coming in to completely burn the fuel, carbon monoxide is produced, and since you cannot see, smell, or taste it, you and your family could be breathing it in for quite a while. A CSIA-certified inspection from Hudson Chimney will ensure the drafting and venting is working to keep the air flow going through the house, bringing oxygen to the heating source. A sweeping will also remove any possible blockages like animal nests to prevent another source of carbon monoxide invading your home. If you and your family develop flu-like symptoms that do not disappear, ask your doctor for a carbon monoxide blood test to be sure your health is not at risk.
If you have not scheduled your annual chimney sweeping and inspection this year, contact Hudson Chimney today. Proper chimney maintenance begins with this important step.