Everyone Seems To Be “Pinching Pennies” These Days
or at least they are watching every dollar!
One Expense to Keep on Your Budget: Professional Care of Your Chimney
People are getting creative about finding ways to save money; in today’s economy, that’s not a bad idea. Some families are planning meals around what’s on sale. Homeowners are making it a weekly routine to perform do-it-yourself repairs in order to prevent more expensive problems. Families are hiking, biking, and playing board games together partly as a way to save money on entertainment. While pulling the financial belt in a few notches, one area that it’s best not to skimp on is getting chimneys inspected by a professional at least once every year.
A committee of experts on fire safety in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released a set of safety standards; they recommend that, at minimum, all chimneys, fireplaces, and vents be inspected by a qualified professional annually.
Have you ever questioned the necessity of hiring a chimney sweep? Many homeowners have been known to try and clean their chimneys themselves only to realize that it’s a job for professionals with the proper equipment. Besides the challenge of dealing with the narrow, sooty passageway in a chimney, there are many potential problems which may require an expert to detect. A breach in the construction of a chimney could become a fire hazard.
The chimney does more than release smoke into the atmosphere so that you can enjoy the warmth of a fire in your home while the room remains smoke-free. The chimney has an essential function in that it shields your home from flames and heat which could combust into a full-blown house fire.
Sometimes problems with the chimney can easily be identified. For instance, dull black stains which appear in the opening of a chimney are an indication of flue deterioration. And a damp chimney causes stains in both the ceiling and the chimney opening. But many problems with a chimney aren’t detectable to a layperson. Hiring a certified chimney sweep qualified to both clean and inspect the chimney could ultimately prevent your home from going up in smoke.
Some of the less obvious issues which may be problematic in your chimney include:
· Mortar in a brick chimney can deteriorate, and bricks can break and fall.
· If you have a tile flue, there could be broken, missing, or cracked tiles.
· Your tile flue liner could develop a tiny crack which enlarges to expose your home to dangerous heat levels. The exposure to flames and heat could ignite a house fire.
· Animals may have begun nesting in your chimney, which can be a real problem. It’s best to put a screen around your chimney cap to prevent birds, squirrels, snakes, and raccoons from accessing the chimney during the months when it isn’t in use.
· Bits of broken masonry or rusted metal could fall into the flue passageway and collect in the elbow, which blocks the effective exhaust of smoke from combustibles.
· Improperly installed fireplace or stove inserts are frequently a source of household vulnerability. When excess amounts of heat radiate into combustible floors or walls, pyrolysis can occur, which means that the materials will ignite at a lower temperature.
· Professional chimney sweeps are equipped with the right tools for removing debris which may have attached to your chimney’s flue lining.
Taking good care of your fireplace is actually another way to be frugal because you’ll get the most efficient performance from it if the chimney is well-kept with the help of a professional. It is also a proven fact that regular chimney maintenance will prevent more costly chimney repairs from being needed. Chimney problems that are caught early are always a money-saving proposition.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
formerly Nayaug Chimney Services, LLC
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110