What many homeowners don’t know is that chimney fires can happen without anyone’s awareness. When you become aware that a chimney fire has been eating your home from inside the walls, it may not be the first time. This is part of why prevention is so important!
SOME SIGNS THAT THERE HAS ALREADY BEEN A CHIMNEY FIRE:
♦ ‘Puffy’ creosote, that’s cloud shaped and expanded beyond its normal form
♦ Creosote build up with rainbow colored streaks
♦ Any metal components that show warping (discoloring and distortion): the damper, metal smoke chamber, connector pipe or metal chimney, rain cap
♦ Flue tiles with large chunks missing, or that have cracks or evidence of collapse
♦ Flakes and pieces of creosote on the roof or ground nearby
♦ Burn marks on roofing material damaged by hot creosote
♦ Cracks in exterior masonry
♦ Evidence of smoke escaping through mortar joints of masonry or tile liners
If your home has already had a chimney fire, there is a reason it’s happened, and you’re in danger of it happening again until the cause is identified and addressed. Causes of chimney fires all have to do with structural safety and blockages or build-up in the chimney. The only way to be sure your fireplace is safe to use is to have regular chimney cleaning services.
HOW CAN CHIMNEY CLEANING SERVICES PREVENT THESE FIRES?
There are two main tasks chimney cleaning services can do for you: a chimney inspection and sweeping/cleaning your chimney. If you have concerns about fire safety, it’s best to do both. While inspection is important to identify evidence of previous fires and risk for future fires, it’s the cleaning that removes fuel for fires: creosote and debris.
Always be sure that you have working smoke alarms in appropriate places throughout your home, and that their batteries are fresh. With a little diligence and annual chimney cleaning services, you can minimize your risk for chimney fires.