In spite of the ambiance and relaxation that a fireplace provides, there are also inherent fire dangers. To combat the risk of fire or inhalation of dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) gas, it is important for you to make chimney maintenance part of your home maintenance plan. Follow these tips to keep your chimney in good shape and prevent fire hazards.
General Chimney Maintenance Tips
Both metal and masonry chimneys require maintenance so that smoke and flue gases are ventilated properly. At the very least, you should have your chimney inspected annually before each heating season. In addition:
- Have your chimney cleaned on a regular basis to reduce creosote buildup.
- Make sure your masonry chimney has a flue liner in place to reduce the possibility that the masonry could absorb creosote.
- Replace damaged liners, as they will allow creosote to accumulate and heat to escape.
- When hiring someone to reline your chimney, only allow the contractor to use a product that has been tested and listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
Specific Chimney Maintenance Tips
There are two types of chimneys that require specific maintenance to limit the risks in your home.
- Fireplace inserts—Make sure the vent is connected to the flue of the chimney.
- Factory-built metal chimneys—Do not use natural gas, fuel oil vents, well casing, stovepipe or other material in the chimney, as they cannot withstand the heat in the wood burner.
Keep These Precautions in Mind
Do not vent more than one heater or appliance into a single flue, as major complications can arise. If one fuel-burning appliance is connected to a flue and then you attach another appliance, such as a water heater, you are running the risk of various problems. Such problems include heavy creosote accumulation, deterioration of the flue or CO gas drifting into your home.
For additional home maintenance guidance and homeowners insurance solutions, contact us today.