Chimney Cleaning for Better Health
There is something so wonderfully relaxing about a fire in a fireplace. It’s warming on a chilly evening, it’s romantic on a Saturday night, and it is a lifesaver when the power goes out. Of all the fantastic things a fireplace can do to improve your life, there are as many that are detrimental to you and your family if it is not cleaned and serviced annually.
Health Risks of having a dirty chimney:
Carbon monoxide poising: Of all the cautions listed here, this is the number one culprit. Sadly, this is the most preventable problem of them all. If you use your wood-burning fireplace frequently, there is a type of soot that gathers on the inside of your chimney; it’s called creosote. It starts small, and without proper cleaning and inspections, it can become life-threatening. If the creosote is lining your chimney, it can be blocking the vents that let the smoke out. Creosote is also flammable. If enough creosote coats your chimney lining, it will allow carbon monoxide to enter your home. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that can make you excessively sick. If you get too much, it can be fatal.
Creosote: As the soot from creosote thickens, it becomes more flammable. Thick creosote can lead to a chimney fire. A chimney fire can be more dangerous than a regular house fire. Many times, you don’t know the inside of your chimney is burning, and fire can spread through rafters that lead right down to your house. Unfortunately, many people found out too late about chimney fires.
Asthma and COPD: If someone in your home suffers from any respiratory issues, a dirty chimney will only make it worse. Tiny pieces of creosote will enter your home, anyone with breathing problems will be at risk for a trip to the emergency room.
Creosote and scary statistics: It is estimated over 400 people die each year from CO poisoning. Another 50,000 people are admitted to a hospital with CO exposure ailments. Other than a professional cleaning of your chimney, purchasing a CO protector and changing the batteries twice a year can reduce your chances of CO exposure.
There is only one way to avoid all these hazards. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected annually by a professional chimney cleaning company. Chimney cleaning is not a do-it-yourself project; doing so may put you and your family at higher risk.
A professional chimney company will clean out the parts of the fireplace you can see and clean the areas you can’t see. Many companies have invested in special equipment to check the inside your chimney. There are specialized cameras that can see down or up into your chimney. The technicians clean out any debris that birds, animals, leaves, and twigs might be clogging the chimney or its vents. They will also check for weaknesses in the masonry flashings and troubleshoot any part of your chimney that looks hazardous. They will recommend any repairs that are necessary. They will leave your home cleaner than when they found it.
Each year many fires, injuries, and even deaths are caused by a dirty chimney. Spring is the perfect opportunity to have your chimney cleaned and inspected.
Please call us for a timely appointment; we are here to help.
Felgemacher Masonry & Chimney
Rochester NY area: (585) 308-4914
Buffalo NY area: (716) 907-4914