It’s that time of year. The leaves are falling and the temperatures are dropping. As a result, the use of furnaces, space heaters, and fireplaces will begin. With the holiday joy, however, comes risk. Several of the wintertime fire repairs we do are the result of dirty, damaged, and deteriorated fireplace and chimney components, many of which have gone far too long without a proper fireplace inspection. Creosote build-up it can lead to fires burning along the insides of the chimney flue, and cracked or deteriorated flue pipes can allow fire to escape through areas other than the top of the chimney. Additionally, improperly functioning or unopened dampers can result in a smoked-up house. All of these issues could have been identified with a simple fireplace inspection.
So before you light that first fire, take the time to ensure the safety of your family and thoroughly inspect your fireplace.
- Open the damper to make sure it is functioning.
- Look at the sidewalls of the firebox for cracks, where fire and smoke could seep into other areas.
- Check the spark arrestor on the top of the chimney. Make sure it is clean and in place.
*Bonus step* This one is a bit tougher, but worth it: Remove the spark arrestor from the chimney and send a lighted video camera down into the flue. As you send it down, slowly rotate the camera so that you can view all sides of the flue. Check for cracks, deterioration, and creosote build-up.
If you are uncertain about how, or simply want a second opinion: call Branch, and we can assist you with your fireplace inspection.
When was the last time someone inspected your fireplace and chimney? Are you confident that it is safe?