Everyone knows that an annual chimney inspection is the best way to make sure that your fireplace and chimney system are safe and working efficiently. When you hire a quality chimney service like Owens Chimney Systems, you can be sure that every aspect of your chimney will be inspected. If there is anything that needs to be repaired or cleaned, we will make sure that it gets taken care of thoroughly and in a timely manner. But you may want to know exactly what a thorough chimney inspection means.
What Will Your Chimney Technician Be Looking For?
There are many things that your chimney sweep will be looking for. First off, they will begin by looking for a dangerous level of creosote buildup. Creosote develops when the smoke from your wood fire drifts up the chimney and hits the colder surface of the interior closer to the top. That smoke contains formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, benzene, other chemicals, and water vapor. When that water vapor hits the cool chimney surface, it condenses and forms creosote, and that’s trouble because it’s highly flammable. Your chimney technician will remove that creosote so that it doesn’t catch a stray spark and start a dangerous chimney fire.
The chimney technician will also be looking for obstructions, like trash, twigs or dried leaves that may have blown into your chimney. Another obstruction might be a bird’s nest or squirrel’s nest left behind; many times these creatures will build a nest in your chimney to keep their young out of the wind and also safe from predators. When they move out, the nest is left to dry out. These obstructions are also dangerous spark catchers.
Another thing that your chimney technician will be looking for is structural damage. This can be from an undetected chimney fire, which could cause your mortar and bricks to be weakened and unsteady. They will also look for damage to particular parts of your chimney and fireplace, like the flashing, the chimney crown, the damper system, or the firebox. Sometimes something as simple as precipitation can hit these parts and wear them down. Or if that rain turns into sleet, you may be seeing mortar damage from the freeze-thaw cycle. In this case, the precipitation gets into the pores of the mortar and then freezes and expands, which causes those pores to get bigger, and this in turn weakens the mortar. Over time, this will cause weakening of the chimney’s structure.
Just a Good Cleaning
Whether your chimney has creosote buildup, structural damage, or just needs a good cleaning, you’ll want to call in a chimney sweeping company that you can trust, and that company is Owens Chimney Systems. We are CSIA certified and hold numerous awards and certifications. Call us today and schedule an inspection so that you can spend long, cozy evenings worry free in front of your safe fire.