As winter draws closer, the last thing that you want to happen is to lose the normal use of your chimney for any reason at all. If you have a blocked or non-functional chimney, you will not be able to use the chimney to warm your home in those cold winter months. At worst, using a problematic chimney could put you and your family in danger. In fact, you will often find that the gas company will also turn off your gas if it is found that your chimney has a problem.
What’s the cause of your chimney problems?
Due to the warmth produced and the design of a chimney, the chimney is an attractive spot for birds and other small animals to find some comfort. Birds build nests at the top of chimney systems and small animals like squirrels and bats either find their way down your chimney either on purpose or by accidentally falling in.
Additionally, debris carried by wind can easy get lodged in your chimney so that leaves and small pieces of rubbish and rubble will easily clog your chimney. What’s more is that all these creatures and debris can easily accelerate the damage to your chimney by loosening the mortar which can further clog the chimney. As you can see, all sorts of things can easily cause your chimney problems and more specifically, get your chimney blocked.
What dangers does a blocked chimney pose?
When your chimney gets blocked, one of the biggest dangers is carbon monoxide failing to escape through the chimney and instead getting trapped inside your home. Carbon monoxide is produced when wood, charcoal or any other carbon based fuel is burned. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating gas known as the ‘silent killer’ simply because a person cannot easily detect its ill-effects on the body. By the time you notice its effects on your body, you will often not be in a position to get away since the gas will have already made you unconscious.
How to avoid chimney issues and dangers?
To avoid all issues related to your chimney, there is a very simple solution. Through regular care, maintenance and inspection you can easily avoid losing the functionality of your chimney and avoid any danger to you and your family.
As a rule of thumb, having the chimney inspected at least once a year should be done, with a bias for inspection just before winter. This should be done to ensure that your chimney will be in perfectly working order in the colder months of the year when you are likely to use it the most.
Hiring a chimney sweep
Hiring a chimney sweep to do the job for you is often your best solution since besides cleaning your chimney, they will also:
- Ensure that your home has an efficient cooling and heating efficiency
- Determine whether your firebox and chimney are in good working order and that there is no damage
- Ensure that your chimney isn’t susceptible to chimney fires caused by creosote accumulation
- Ensure that there is no carbon monoxide blockage
- Ensure that you are not causing environmental pollution through your fireplace.
When hiring a chimney sweep, ensure that they are certified and that they are members of a professional body like CSIA or the Chimney Safety Institute of America. This will ensure that you are hiring among the very best service providers available to you.