The Importance of Chimney Servicing
The seasons are finally changing. Summer is leaving us and the cool fall breeze is in the air. During this time of the year, homeowners start using their chimneys to heat their homes. Unfortunately, many homeowners in the Annapolis area forget to have their chimney inspected or serviced, leading to unforeseen challenges.
With over 45 years of experience in the restoration industry, our SERVPRO franchise has seen its fair share of fire damage restoration work from chimney issues. The most common cause of chimney fires is ignited creosote inside your chimney flue or smoke chamber. Flammable creosote is produced by smoke during wood combustion, so it’s impossible to completely prevent it from getting into your chimney system.
One way to effectively prevent fire, smoke or soot damage is by having a licensed chimney sweep clean your chimney once a year. Another is to burn only dry (seasoned) wood, which emits much less smoke than damp (unseasoned) wood.
Smaller chimney fires, over time, can cause serious damage inside your flume and to the smoke chamber, which is the drafting portal that sits just above your fireplace. The most common types of damage include:
- Cracked or broken chimney liner that puts the bricks and mortar of your chimney’s masonry at risk
- Cracked smoke chamber bricks that allow intense heat to spread to vulnerable building materials of your home
- The escape of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, which is known to be potentially fatal to people and pets
- Water damage that results from compromises in the masonry
The worst part about a relatively small chimney fire is that it can be highly destructive, and most homeowners never even know when they happened. For this reason, the most efficient way to reduce the likelihood of chimney fires happening is by having your chimney cleaned and inspected on a regular basis.
If you experience any fire, soot or smoke damage as a result of a chimney malfunction, call your experts over here at SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park at 410-647-8181.