The Four Most Common Summer Fireplace Myths
Having served the Buffalo-Rochester region since 1953, we know many summer fireplace myths are floating around, especially on the Internet. In this article, we peel back the layers to give you the truth based on our over fifty years of experience in the hearth industry. Maintaining your fireplace correctly in the summer will help minimize health and safety risks, reduce repair costs, and prevent premature replacement.
Myth #1: Gas Fireplaces Don’t Need Cleaning or Inspections.
We have found that many homeowners in East Rochester and Western New York are unaware that even if you have a gas fireplace, you still need a Certified Chimney Sweep® for annual inspections and cleaning. While it is true that gas is a much cleaner burning fuel than wood, it is corrosive. Some corrosive residue adheres to the interior masonry walls, flue liner, and other areas of the chimney system. It can cause masonry deterioration that can lead to water leaks and further damage that may require repairs.
Also, it is vital that your gas fireplace has an annual safety inspection and cleaning to remove clogged burner ports, dust, and hairs that can cause a premature failure. Inspecting the unit to determine whether carbon monoxide fumes are leaking into your living space is also essential.
Myth #2: I Don’t Need a Chimney Inspection Because I’m Not Using The Fireplace.
Oh yes, this is another prevalent myth. However, it is equally important to have a chimney inspection regardless of whether you use the fireplace. That’s because our winter weather, with frequent freezing and thawing cycles, accelerates brick and mortar deterioration. Also, homeowners that reside near the shores of Lake Ontario or Lake Erie are exposed to additional moisture in the air that can also increase the risk of masonry damage. When bricks and mortar begin to crack, flake, crumble, or spall, they can loosen and fall off the chimney. The gaps in the chimney allow water, pests, and debris to get inside the chimney system. It can cause extensive damage, including a partial or complete collapse that will also cause structural damage to your roof and house.
Myth #3: Gas or Wood-burning Fireplaces Shouldn’t Be Used Outside.
This is an old myth that initially started many years ago. The good news is we have been installing stunning energy-efficient gas and wood-burning outdoor fireplaces for many of your Buffalo area neighbors for years. It allows you to enjoy your outdoor living space any time of year. Visit our local fireplace shop just off the NY State Thruway and Broadway (NY 130) in Cheektowaga to browse Western New York’s largest selection of premium fireplaces, stoves, and accessories.
Myth #4: I Don’t Need To Hire A Professional Chimney Sweep Because I Can Do It Myself.
While it is prudent to clean the fireplace and sweep the chimney regularly, it doesn’t take the place of an annual chimney inspection and professional cleaning. A professional chimney sweep has the training, skills, and certifications to assess the chimney’s condition properly. In our basic level 1 inspection, we examine all visible internal and exterior areas of the chimney system like the chimney cap, crown, flue liner, and damper, for example. We can spot minor damage such as efflorescence or masonry cracks before they become more severe and costly repairs. Creosote is a highly flammable material and if you don’t remove all of it, your chimney and home are at an increased risk of fire and exposure to harmful contaminants, including carbon monoxide gas.
Summer Chimney & Fireplace Inspections
Summer is the perfect time to schedule your annual inspection and cleaning, so any necessary repairs can be completed before colder weather arrives here in the Greater Buffalo and Rochester, NY region. Call (716) 452-9156 or (585) 684-7197 to schedule your summer chimney inspection today! You can also contact us online.