In the midst of this struggling economy, does your household budget allow for the cost of an annual chimney inspection? If you are unsure about the necessity of it, you could google ‘how important is an annual chimney inspection;’ and you would find more than 2.3 million search results. Let us save you some time and narrow things down for you. The top three compelling reasons to prioritize a way that includes a chimney inspection in your annual expenses are:
- House Fire Prevention
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention
- Minimizing Repair Costs
1 – Eliminate the Potential for Fires
The national organization responsible for helping citizens to prevent fires is the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) They recommend that all chimneys be inspected on an annual basis to prevent chimney fires.
The NFPA has reports and statistics which support their recommendations. For instance, check out the following chimney-related data about fires which occurred in the U.S. in 2011:
- Heating equipment was involved in about 53,600 structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments. As a result of those fires, there were 400 fatalities and 1,540 injuries, in addition to direct property damage amounting to $893 million.
- There were 370,000 home fires total in 2011. Heating equipment was a contributing cause in approximately 1 of every 7 (or 15% of) reported home fires, 1 of every 6 (or 17% of) home fire fatalities, and 1 of every 9 (or 11% of) home fire injuries.
- Chimneys, fireplaces, or chimney connectors were involved in 38% of reported home heating fires from 2006 thru 2010. Of those incidents, a failure to clean was a factor in 55% of those incidents.
When our professional chimney sweeps inspect your chimney they identify issues which could cause a chimney fire such as a buildup of creosote and soot within the chimney lining. Chimney fires are dangerous even though they may seem minor and harmless at first.
A small fire inside of your chimney creates extremely high temperatures. All it takes is one chimney fire to cause damage to the chimney lining. In future fires, that damage can cause nearby combustible materials to catch fire, in addition to further damaging the chimney structure itself.
The alarmingly high temperatures in a chimney fire allow for a quickly moving blaze which can destroy a home and even make it difficult for occupants to evacuate in time.
2 – Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the number one cause of poisoning fatalities in the U.S. It is completely preventable, in spite of the fact that it is odorless, colorless, tasteless, and does not immediately show symptoms. Your home could be filled with levels of carbon monoxide so dangerous that you could die before you realized it. Make sure that you have operational carbon monoxide detectors in your home especially if you have a fireplace or wood stove; it could save your life. Some of the symptoms of breathing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide are fatigue, headaches, confusion, and nausea but these signs may come to late. Those most susceptible to brain and heart damage or death from breathing CO are children.
The sources of carbon monoxide poisoning in a home include the fumes from cars, gasoline, household equipment, and wood burning appliances.
Various chimney problems can cause a buildup of CO gases, including:
- A blocked chimney
- A broken chimney connector pipe
- A rusted heat exchanger
- A deteriorating chimney
3 – Avoid Costly Repairs
During annual chimney inspections, all places on a chimney and fireplace system that are in a state of disrepair are pointed out. Not only is it important to have a properly functioning chimney for safety reasons, but the cost of repairs gets higher as problems go on without being resolved. Catching problems early can save you a lot of money, even when you consider the cost of repair.
Some areas of deterioration in a chimney which are common and could be very costly if not repaired include:
- Deteriorated chimney flashing, which is the seal between the roof and the chimney. This causes moisture problems that lead to structural damage.
- Cracks in the mortar which allow moisture to enter the chimney system.
- Broken bricks.
- A damaged flue lining.
- Damaged chimney cap.
If you need a chimney inspection, contact us today. Our chimney sweeps are certified, trained, and licensed. You can trust us to perform a thorough inspection. Our chimney professionals can help you gain peace of mind that your chimney is not harming your family or your home, which is priceless.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
formerly Nayaug Chimney Services, LLC
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110