4 things that can go wrong with your Chimney

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Hamm Homes
 
As the weather gets colder, there are some things to consider before starting that first fire. Chimneys are a too-often neglected home amenity, and there are a few hazards homeowners should be aware of. For a warm and safe holiday season, here are a few things about your chimney that you might want to check in on.
Obstructions
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that chimneys be inspected every year, and for good reason! Apart from just ensuring that your chimney is performing as intended, a neglected chimney can result in dangerous house fires or toxic smoke inhalation. A chief factor that can cause these issues is an obstruction within the chimney flue. Twigs and leaves can gather, acting as additional kindling, and animals can commonly get stuck inside a chimney flue while searching for warmth or shelter.
Creosote
The interior of a chimney can reach heats of above 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, keeping your chimney clear of flammable materials is extremely important. The most common flammable material inside chimneys is a material called creosote. Creosote is a flammable residue that builds up in the flue of your chimney as smoke accumulates and develops into soot. With regular cleaning and selecting healthy wood to burn, creosote can be managed.
Moisture & Leaking
Another concern homeowners should have in relation to their chimneys is the build up of moisture, or even leaking from the chimney. Damaged masonry, cracked or spalling brickwork, and missing chimney caps can result in easy entry for rain into the home. Especially in older properties, chimneys can deteriorate.
Smoke & Odor
When people use their fireplace, they’re probably picturing an experience that’s warm and comfortable, not smoky or musty. Odor and smoke can come from a number of different sources, namely dead animals stuck inside the chimney, wet creosote buildup, or simply using poor quality wood.
Avoid this through your regular chimney inspections, consistent maintenance, and by selecting quality dry wood. Green or wet wood produces more smoke than heat when burned, and this smoke can even be toxic to your kids or pets.

Comments (8)

Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Will - in addition to cleaning cracking does occur and the annual check is very important.

Dec 07, 2022 11:19 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

great info! thanks for sharing 

Dec 07, 2022 11:28 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

If people got their chimneys checked regularly they would be in much better shape. With so many people resorting to alternatives like wood and pellets, they need to do it right as they can cause major house fires

Dec 07, 2022 12:34 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Will Hamm  best to have your chimneys checks by a sweep on a regular basis if they are used  a lot 

Dec 07, 2022 02:05 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes, we definitely do an annual woodstove/chimney cleaning. Although we ran into our chimney guy a few months ago and he might be moving out of the area so we might need to find another guy!

Dec 08, 2022 05:33 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Maintenance definitely matters and this is something that could cause a lot of damage if not properly maintained.

Dec 08, 2022 07:21 AM
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

I am pyro so I use mine eveytime the weather drops below 55 and I can be home to chill, oxymoron! It is super important to protect your home and family for sure. Thanks for those reminers Will! 

 

Dec 08, 2022 10:47 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Will here in CA the Chimney & the Fireplace is usually "decorative" if you have a good listing agent.... because of most of the points you mentioned it prevents liability....Endre

Dec 08, 2022 09:36 PM