If you haven’t lit a fire in your fireplace in a while, chances are you have something in your chimney blocking its exit. A hazardous condition, chimney blockages are a leading cause of chimney fires. Filled with soot, debris, nesting, creosote, and other materials, unclean chimneys are fire hazards. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires as the common blockages are all things that can be resolved by an annual chimney sweeping from a CSIA-certified company like Old Hat Chimney Services. With experience cleaning masonry chimneys, factory-built fireplaces, wood stoves, and wood-burning inserts, we want to protect you from a chimney fire, whether it is an explosive fire with flames shooting from your chimney or a slow-burning internal upper chimney fire with temperatures high enough to cause the same amount of damage.
Knowing what the common chimney blockages are, along with a bit on how to prevent and alleviate them, is another part of the proper maintenance needed to keep your chimney fire hazard-free.
animals and their nestings
Stray birds, squirrels, raccoons, and other animals are always looking for a warm place to call home for the winter, and sometimes your chimney becomes a nesting spot. Once they vacate, they leave behind their nests and other debris that need to be removed by the annual sweeping by Old Hat Chimney Services before you light a fire in your fireplace, or you risk starting a chimney fire. In a worst-case scenario, an animal could get stuck or injured inside your chimney and not be able to leave on its own. In this situation, it is strongly advised you call a professional animal remover to take care of the matter, rather than you yourself attempting to free the animal.
soot, debris, and settlement
Over the year, settlement, leaves, twigs, and other foliage work their way down your chimney and can accumulate a large enough blockage, risking smoke to be driven into your home because of negative air pressure and combustion issues. You could also end up with cracks in your flue that lead to possible carbon monoxide leaks into your house. Both this blockage and the animal blockage above can be prevented by a new chimney cap, customized by Old Hat Chimney Services to fit and cover your chimney perfectly, keeping animals and debris out of your home.
A compound naturally formed by the condensation process that occurs when the by-products of combustion (smoke, vapors, tar fog, gases, unburned wood particles, and other minerals) exit through the upper (and cooler) flue of your chimney, creosote sticks to the walls and can build up enough to cause a very dangerous blockage. Highly combustible, creosote builds and thickens to the point where it can block your flue, keep your chimney from venting properly, and easily ignite if the temperature within your chimney becomes high enough, starting a chimney fire. Experienced with removing all creosote deposits from chimneys, the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Old Hat Chimney Services will rid your chimney from creosote during the annual chimney sweeping.
Keep your chimney free of hazardous blockages and prevent a possible chimney fire by scheduling an appointment today for your annual chimney sweeping from Old Hat Chimney Services. Our CSIA-certified sweeps will ensure your chimney is clean and safe from any fire hazards.