A chimney brings character and functionality to your home. During the NJ winters, having a chimney has many benefits. You can enjoy a relaxing fire in the living room, and the smell is welcoming. However, it is crucial to inspect and maintain your chimney regularly. A recent article states, each year, fire prevention experts say, lives are tragically lost and millions of dollars in property damage sustained due to chimney fires could have been prevented had the homeowner adhered to a simple maintenance routine. Following, I will list some of the most common chimney issues that require a chimney service call in NJ.
Everyone knows that smoke goes up the chimney while in use. In contrast, many do not understand that creosote deposits inside the chimney lining. The proper definition of creosote is: an oily liquid having a burning taste and a penetrating odor, obtained by the distillation of coal and wood tar, used mainly as a preservative for wood and as an antiseptic. Basically, it’s a flammable black tar that can cause buildup in your chimney. Many chimney fires are caused by creosote neglect. Furthermore, a buildup can prevent proper ventilation. This can create carbon monoxide inside your home. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is known as the “silent killer.” It is odorless, tasteless and invisible. Annual chimney cleaning and sweeping removes any tar of flammable buildup. Only professionals carry the right training and tools to complete this process.
If a chimney has not been used for a while, many things can cause blockage. Bird nests, tree limbs, leaves and any other outside debris. It is important to allow a professional inspection before a chimney is used for the first time of the season.
Chimney Cap and Crown
All chimneys have a defense mechanism, called the cap and crown. These protect your chimney from outside elements entering from the top. This is also very important in areas that experience colder weather like NJ. Frozen rain and snow create extra moisture and water. If the cap is damaged or non existent more of that moisture enters the fireplace. This can create an unstable structure.
Chimney Safety Institue of America defines flue lining as, “A clay, ceramic, or metal conduit installed inside of a chimney, intended to contain the combustion products, direct them to the outside atmosphere, and protect the chimney walls from heat and corrosion.” Depending on the type of material the chimney has, it may need occasional replacement. Metal liners are the most durable. Either way, all liners should be inspected annually. If there is a crack in your lining, the house is exposed to higher levels of heat. This in turn, can cause a chimney fire and thousands of dollars in damages. Never turn on a fireplace without verifying the lining is crack-free.
Brick is a high-quality material. However, it is still exposed to the outside elements. If there are a large amount of cracks and loose bricks, there could be water damage in your chimney. Smaller cracks can be repaired easily through a professional chimney service company. Mortar joints, the spaces between the bricks, should be maintained and inspected yearly.
There are many possible chimney problems. The good thing is, many major damages or repairs can be avoided with routine inspections and maintenance. Although, many problems can be seen easily, there are several areas that are not seen by the common eye. Professional and trained chimney experts should inspect your chimney annually. They know what repairs are dangerous or easily fixed. A1 Everlast does chimney inspections and repairs throughout northern NJ. Don’t wait for the winter months to hit, get your chimney inspection now. Contact us to speak with a technician today and schedule a chimney service in NJ.