Chimney and fireplaces are not only functional to create heat, but it also adds ambience to any home.  Cold winter days and nights relaxing in your home while sitting by a crackling fire creates a beautiful picture and it comes to mind when your home has this extraordinary feature.  This special home feature is like any other accessory appliance; there are potential dangers if it is not installed and maintained properly.  Fireplaces and chimneys can be very hazardous and dangerous if left neglected or improperly maintained for too long.

 

 

WHY SHOULD YOU MAINTAIN YOUR FIREPLACE

Animals in your Chimney

The 3 most serious problems resulting from poorly maintained chimneys are:

Cracked Fireplace wall

Premature failure of the underlying structure itself can damage the mortar joints and cause cracks that crumble further and will cause "small" chimney fires. Even before the second chimney fire can penetrate the cracks caused by the first, the carbon monoxide can escape the chimney and leak into the living quarters of the home.

Loose bricks in fireplace
Damaged fireplace
Cracked Chimney
Chimney Cap Replacement
Damaged Chimney

Chimney fires comes from the extremely high temperatures generated, which can severely damage the mortar in the chimney and ignite nearby burnable surfaces.  The first fire in a chimney will not be noticed or, if noticed, may instill a false confidence in the owner.  In many cases, the first chimney fire can cause cracks and loose mortar joints that then provide the next fire with an avenue to reach the roof timbers and other combustible materials.

Fire danger in chimney
Dangers of carbon monoixde
home burning due to fireplace

Carbon monoxide poisoning- One of the reasons carbon monoxide is so deadly is that you generally can't see or smell it: rarely do its victims have any warning.  Low levels of poisoning cause flu-like symptoms, sometimes people think they are just catching a cold.  More advanced poisoning can cause vomiting and headaches and even death.  Carbon monoxide is deadly because it tricks the body into thinking it is oxygen.  The body  prefers carbon monoxide, and it will choose the carbon monoxide over the oxygen more so when they both are present in the atmosphere.