It is great to have a fireplace which you can light up when it is cold outside. You can relax for hours enjoying the natural warmth and looking at the burning wood. This idyllic picture can be easily ruined, however. All sorts of issues can occur. These range from bad smell to the release of harmful gas and from cracking of the flue to the collapsing of the entire chimney. The good news is that these serious problems can be avoided. For effective prevention, proper cleaning and maintenance are required. When the structure is properly cared for, the risk of damage and a serious accident is reduced to the very possible minimum.
It is a fact that it is not easy to provide chimney cleaning and maintenance. This is because the structure is specific and the access to its components is difficult. Proper techniques and tools have to be used so that the job is done effectively. Despite all of these difficulties, the provision of care is crucial for the safety of the property and of the people living on it. When the structure is maintained in good condition and operated optimally, you will have complete peace of mind about the health, safety and well being of your loved ones. You will be able to preserve valuable assets as well. Consider the major benefits of regular cleaning and maintenance.
Lower Fire Risk
When wood burns, it produces heat and a set of byproducts. The two main products are tar and carbon powder, which is popularly known as soot. These have light particles which are released up the chimney as the wood burns. The two types of particles get mixed and form a substance called creosote. Some of the creosote goes out of the chimney, but a large portion of it gets built up on the walls of the flue. As you keep using the fireplace, more creosote gets accumulated and the layer becomes ever thicker.
The major problem with creosote is that it is highly inflammable. Its accumulation on the flue walls increases the risk of house fire considerable. In fact, thousands of house fires are caused by creosote build-ups in chimneys every year. Fire is one of the most serious perils which can affect a home. It poses extreme danger to people and property. Another problem with fire starting due to the combustion of creosote is that this substance is toxic and can cause serious irritation to the skin and eyes and possibly mental confusion.
With proper chimney cleaning and maintenance, the risk of fire can be reduced to the lowest possible minimum. As a result, lives can be saved and property can be preserved. These are important enough reasons for taking the required measures. You will enjoy the fireplace even more when you know that everyone around is safe.
Long exposure to creosote may have adverse impact health. When you use your fireplace and the chimney has a great amount of this substance inside, you and the people around can experience skin and eye irritation. People with more sensitive skin may experience redness and possibly blistering and peeling. Even though such health problems can occur fairly rarely given the fact that people in the household are not in direct contact with creosote, you must never leave things to chance. When you maintain and clean the chimney properly, you will never have to worry about this sort of risk.
More serious health issues can occur in case the chimney gets blocked as a result of improper care or an accident. In case of blockage, the fumes from the combustion process cannot be released and build up inside the flue. The fumes are drawn inside the closed room and can be quite dangerous to people. Carbon monoxide is undoubtedly the most hazardous among the different gases which are released inside the house in case of chimney blockage. It causes a variety of symptoms including headache, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, shortness of breath and confusion. Carbon monoxide poisoning constitutes serious health emergency and medical assistance must be sought right away.
When the chimney is perfectly cleaned and maintained in good structural condition, the risk of fumes getting into the room and causing poisoning is immensely reduced. It makes sense to take every effort for achieving safety. By taking all required measures to protect your family, you will have complete peace of mind that everyone will have fun around the fireplace safely.
Damage and Accident Prevention
Despite the common misconception, the chimney is not just a duct which takes the fumes from the burning wood outside. It is a complex structure with many elements. That is why various kinds of issues can occur when it is not maintained in good condition. One of the biggest culprits is moisture. It can easily creep inside and cause damage when there is not a proper cap in place or the existing cap does not function properly. Moisture can cause cracking of the crown and of the flue lining. When the lining is damaged, the risk of house fire grows higher. The mortar and bricks can also get seriously damaged by moisture. In such cases, there is a great risk of the entire structure collapsing.
All of these threats to the property and to the people inside can be avoided with regular and effective chimney cleaning and maintenance. You can save a great deal of money on repairs and on the replacement of severely damaged components. Just imagine the consequences of a chimney collapsing. The cleaning and the restoration can be extremely expensive, especially if other structures of the house are affected and this is often the case. It is necessary to provide proper care timely so that you protect your family, assets and income.
Given the great threat which chimney problems can pose to people and property, it is crucial to make the cleaning and maintenance of this structure top priority. These tasks have to be performed with the use of effective techniques and tools and under a strict schedule. When the chimney is clean and in good condition, life is good.