If you burn wood in a fireplace, wood stove, or wood furnace, you need to consider the chimney in the system before the heating season begins. No matter what the chimney is constructed of, preseason chimney sweeping is critical to ensure it is clean and safe to use.
When you use wood to heat, you may have a brick chimney with a tile or metal liner or a metal chimney pipe with inner and outer walls that have insulation to reduce heat transfer. As you burn wood, there is creosote that builds up in the chimney, and if enough of it sticks to the sides, it can ignite inside the chimney, causing a fire.
For many years people thought that burning out the creosote was an effective way to clean the chimney, but the heat produced can heat the tiles enough to crack them, and it can damage the joints if you are using a metal liner. A chimney fire is never a good thing, and hiring a chimney sweep service to clean and inspect the chimney is vital.
The service will clean the chimney, but they can clean the flue and firebox if it needs it, check the operation of the flue, and inspect the chimney for any damage that may have occurred over time.
Inspecting The Chimney
If you elect to have the chimney sweep service inspect the chimney for you, they will clean it first to get a good look at the walls and liner inside. In brick chimneys with tile liners, they look for cracks where heat and embers could pass through and cause a fire in the walls.
Metal chimneys often have fewer points to be inspected, but the joints between the pipe sections need to be looked at to ensure they are not separating for the same reason as cracks in the tiles. Most chimney inspections involve putting a tiny camera down from the top and rotating it around to see all the potential problem areas as the operator moves it to the bottom and into the flue.
If the inspection reveals damage to the chimney or liner, the chimney sweep service will let you know so you can get a mason or fireplace company to come and repair it for you. A mason can use many solutions to save older chimneys, but often it means putting a new flexible liner in and filling the area around it with concrete to ensure nothing can get from the liner into the walls.
The repair is highly effective and can be completed in a single day by a qualified contractor or mason, and often is the best way to restore function without replacing the entire chimney.Share