A traditional log burning fireplace is a great focal point in any room. However, they require maintenance to ensure that no problems occur, which can lead to high repair costs or health concerns for people living within the home.
Here are five common issues which can lead to chimney damage and what you can do to prevent them:
Problem: Creosote is a waste product which is a byproduct of burning wood. It can buildup on the sides of your flue and firebox. Buildup can lead to blockages which can then catch fire themselves and spread to the rest of your home.
Solution: Creosote buildup can be prevented by regularly sweeping and cleaning. Removing the buildups which form inside the flue and on the other chimney surfaces can save you a lot of money in potential repairs.
Problem: Animals such as birds or squirrels cause problems by either nesting or becoming stuck in your chimney. These issues can lead to blockages and/or the production of unwanted noise and smell.
Solution: Purchase and install a chimney cap to prevent animals from entering your flue system.
Problem: When water enters your chimney system, it can cause a number of issues of which cracked concrete is the most serious. This can happen due to freeze-thaw weathering, when water gets into cracks in your cement, freezes and then expands. Left unchecked, this cycle will wreck havoc on a uncapped chimney.
Solution: This is another issue which a chimney cap can prevent.
4) House Settling
Problem: As your home settles, cracks and gaps can form within your chimney system. These cracks could allow for gases or smoke which are suppose to ventilate out of the home to vent into the home.
Solution: By having your chimney checked by a professional these issues can be identified and addressed before they lead to health concerns. Restoration or refurbishment work are most likely to be required to remedy the hazards caused by settling.
Problem: Using a fireplace to dispose of rubbish is the most frequently encountered problem. This can lead to increased levels of creosote being deposited on your flue, causing blockages to build up much more quickly. Building larger fires can also lead to this increased creosote buildups.
Solution: Only burn items such as wood logs or logs specifically meant to be burned in a fireplace, and if you fire gets out-of-hand, make sure to give the chimney a once over after the fire burns out.
Have you ever experienced any of these issues in your home? What changes did you make to prevent them from happening again? Leave a comment below and let us know.
This piece was written by Mark Enright, a writer for Beddard Roofing, the roofing specialists.