Thinkin' 'bout the chimney

Home Inspector with Sherlock Home Inspectors

Now that it is spring here in the northeast It's a good time to have your chimney cleaned and inspected largely due to the fact that you currently will not need to use it. If you have a fireplace and you burn wood you should have it cleaned annually. Masonry chimney flues with clay tile liners take a real beating from years of wood burning and older chimneys often have cracked or damaged liners. Oil burners can create acids when the sulfur in the fuel mixes with moisture in the chimney, subsequently causing decay to the terra cotta liner. Choose a chimney sweep the same way you would any other contractor or inspector, client referrals, friends referrals and ask for references. 

If you have an internal chimney, one that is inside the house, it can pose a real issue if there are any breaches. Internal chimneys that leak have the potential to vent flue gases into the building. Another item you'll want is a rain cap or spark guard, this keeps the animals out of the chimney while it is not in use, or while it is in use. More than once I've heard stories about birds that will rest on top of a chimney, get a whiff and after succumbing to the smoke they fall lifeless into the flue. Sounds gross but the worst part is that you now have an obstruction in you chimney.

Like it's said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Seeya on the road,

Chris Baczewski

Dedicated to my craft and devoted to my clients.

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