Month: May 2017

Issues Damp Chimneys Can Cause in Your Home

CSWFeatured-Image

There’s nothing like a crackling chimney on a frosty winter night to unite the family and remove the chill. Also, there’s nothing like smokestack issues, which are sadly very normal, to disrupt a life and lead to potentially big damage and expenses down the line. One chimney problem that shows up a lot is dampness. Here’s what you need to know about it.

What are pieces of information that you have a damp chimney?

Signs that you may have (or soon will have) a moisture issue with your chimney include a leaky attic or roof in the general area of the chimney, and/or a flue that has water running down it. Issues like this won’t leave all on their own and must be tended to at the earliest opportunity.

Remember that overabundant dampness in a fireplace doesn’t simply “happen.” There’s an explanation behind it, regardless of the possibility that you’re not mindful of it. A broke fireplace crown, for instance, can let in rain water. This is a genuinely basic event in more established homes worked before the 1980s, yet even more up to date homes are inclined to this issue, especially if the smokestack and chimney framework have gone years without standard, careful examination by professionals prepared in this teach.

Chimneys operated without a secure, properly functioning chimney cap, which is designed to block water from rain and melting snow, also will lead to trouble. Protective flashing around the chimney that’s deteriorated with age is yet another way for moisture to get into the chimney.

Be proactive and settle the issue quick

Since water and dampness are ruinous powers to smokestacks, it’s imperative to distinguish the reason for the issue at the earliest opportunity. You might have the capacity to do this without anyone’s help, or you may require the guide of an expert fireplace clear. In any case, it should be finished. Gotten early, smokestack dampness issues frequently are fixable without unreasonable cost. Permitted to advance, the cost of repair or finish modify can be high.

More imperative than cost of repairing a smokestack is the security of the general population who live in your home. The greater part of house flames originate from issues with chimneys and smokestacks. At the point when a smokestack liner or the blocks and mortar utilized as a part of the stack’s development are bargained, extreme warmth effortlessly can achieve neighboring building materials that are not planned to be fireproof. The outcome isn’t something anybody needs to understanding.

Get Your Chimney Waterproofed

CSW-PaFeatured-Image

Like any other part of your home, your chimney needs care every once in a while. Many homeowners don’t give their chimney much thought. They just allow it to deteriorate and accumulate dirt. But eventually this kind of neglect can prove to be a serious health hazard. Your chimney can get damaged in a variety of ways – one of the more common ways being cracks in the chimney. But you should also have your chimney checked for water damage. As water damage can be very harmful to your chimney.

How Can Water Damage Your Chimney?

If your chimney isn’t properly waterproofed, it won’t be safe to use. Water damage can cause a lot of problems with your chimney. That’s because large parts of your chimney are made from materials like steel, which will rust if it’s exposed to water.

If you never have your chimney inspected, now would be a great time to get in touch with a local chimney sweep service. Professional chimney sweeps will be able to check for any water damage in your chimney. If there’s damage, it’s always best to locate the source of the problem and have it fixed. Once you’ve fixed the source of the problem, you can have your chimney fixed without having to worry about your fixed chimney getting damaged again by the same source of water damage.

Water damage to your chimney can cause your damper to rust, as well as potentially causing problems with water penetration in your walls. If that’s the case, you might even see mold grow on your walls near the fireplace, and the wallpaper of paint might lift because of the dampness in the wall.

Mold in your house is terrible for your health, so it’s always best to have any problems fixed that can cause your walls to rot.

Mold and Your Health

Mold is primarily linked to respiratory problems. So if you or one of your loved ones suffer from asthma, or if you tend to have other problems, like coughs, wheezing or a stuffy nose, mold is a likely culprit in your home.

For people who are more allergic to it, mold can also cause skin problems like rashes. Needless to say, the health problems associated with mold in your home is no fun.

To prevent mold from growing in your home, you should have any leaks – like roof leaks or broken pipes fixed as soon as possible. If your chimney is the problem, then you’ll be able to fix the problem by calling a chimney sweep and having your chimney fixed.

It’s important that you have any leaks fixed as soon as possible, as leaving them could cause your walls to get soaked, leading to more water damage than if you had the problem fixed soon after it was discovered. Once you walls, chimney and roof have water damage, the wet parts (or the badly rusted bits) will all have to be replaced. You can’t leave any area of your walls wet and hope that it will dry out, as you’re leaving a potential breeding ground for more mold to grow. And once the mold starts to grow again, it can be very difficult to control.

Things you can do to prevent mold from growing in your home include:

  • Keeping humidity levels low.
  • Thoroughly drying out any areas, like carpets, after they got wet.
  • Properly ventilating areas that are often humid, like the shower and the area above the stove or kettle in your kitchen.

The health problems associated with mold might seem insignificant to you, but mold-related allergies shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your respiratory system is a vital part of your health, and chronic exposure to mold can take its toll on your health.

Apart from this, your house is likely to smell damp and unpleasant if you leave water damaged areas without fixing them promptly.

Staying Safe Next Winter

Let’s face it, you don’t want to think about winter yet. It feels like things are only just starting to heat up, so why worry about the winter? There’s still a lot of time before then.

Fact is, springtime is great for getting your chimney inspected before winter this year. That’s because it’s the ideal season to do all kinds of outdoor maintenance tasks. The temperature isn’t too extreme, which often helps for certain parts of the maintenance work.

Getting your chimney inspected in spring also allows a lot of time before winter, so if there are still problems after your chimney is fixed, there will be time to get your chimney ready before winter.

Remember to use a chimney cap to avoid water damage through your chimney. Chimney caps are also great for preventing birds from making nests in your chimney. This is very important because the nests can actually catch fire whenever you use your chimney, and this can lead to a chimney fire.

Apart from this, you should have your chimney inspected annually to see that it’s still ready for each coming winter. Chimney inspections from professional sweeps aren’t cheap, but your chimney has a very important role to play in keeping your house safe. Without the proper care, it’s better to refrain from using your chimney, as you can never be too safe when working with any area in your house that uses fire.

Why Spring is the Best Time to Get Your Chimney Repaired

CSW-SA-Featured-Image

Finally, things are heating up again! Now that the weather is improving, it’s a great time to think about maintenance tasks that need to be done before things start cooling down nearing the end of the year once more. Your fireplace worked hard all winter long, so one of the maintenance tasks on your spring to-do list should definitely be a chimney inspection. Because of the lovely weather conditions in spring, it’s one of the best times to get an exterior chimney inspection.

The Best Time to Sweep Your Chimney?

In all honesty, there isn’t one single time of year that’s best for getting your chimney cleaned and inspected, but some seasons are better than others. Regardless of what time of the year it is, however, you should always have your chimney inspected as soon as possible if:

  • Your chimney hasn’t been inspected in more than a year. Annual inspections are recommended, as it’s best to have your chimney inspected after every winter to insure it’s still in good shape.
  • You just moved into a new house. When you just moved into a new place, there’s no way to tell for sure whether or not the previous home owners took well care of their fireplace and chimney.
  • You notice any potential problems. If you notice smoke leaking into your house when you use your fireplace, or if your chimney seems to have cracks, it’s time to have it checked out.

To be safe, you should have carbon monoxide sensors installed in your house. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that happens to be reasonably similar to carbon dioxide in chemical structure. But while carbon dioxide is naturally abundant in the atmosphere, breathing in carbon monoxide can be fatal.

This is because your red blood cells have to ability to chemically bond with oxygen (O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). But while bonding with oxygen and carbon dioxide helps your red blood cells transport oxygen throughout your body, bonding with carbon monoxide actually does the opposite. When your red blood cells bond with carbon monoxide, you effectively suffocate, as your body will no longer be getting the oxygen it needs.

Here’s the catch, though. It won’t feel like you’re suffocating. The primary symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning through inhalation are simply feeling light headed, dizzy, or tired. People who die of carbon monoxide poisoning often just fall asleep to never wake up again.

If you often feel more light headed or tired when you’re in the same room as your fireplace, your fireplace might be leaking CO into your home. The best way to know for certain that your fireplace is safe is to install CO sensors, because humans can’t smell, see or detect CO without the proper technology to do so. But having your chimney inspected, cleaned and repaired regularly should significantly reduce the risk of CO leaking into your house through the fireplace.

Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of the dangers of CO poisoning, making it a silent killer.

The Best Season for Chimney Inspections

As stated above, when it comes to chimney inspections, it’s always better to play on the safe side. That said, for practical reasons, some seasons tend to be better for chimney inspections than others.

Spring and summer are perfect for chimney inspections. During these warm seasons, it’s easier to fix any problems that a professional chimney sweep might identify.

For instance, your chimney might be getting water damage from a roof leak. Before you can have your chimney fixed, you should have your roof repaired to avoid future water damage to your chimney. However, winter (or any particularly cold time of the year) isn’t the ideal time to work on your roof.

If you wait till winter for a chimney inspection, you might learn that your chimney isn’t safe to use, but that the work required to fix it should preferably wait till spring.

This will mean that you’ll have to go through winter without using your fireplace, which will probably a bit chilly. Winter is generally less pleasant than springtime and summertime, so not even having the opportunity to snuggle up in front of your fireplace with hot chocolate or a book seems rather dreadful.

But when it comes to the safety of your chimney, you can’t really take any chances. Using your fireplace when your chimney unsafe can literally cause you to burn down your house. While you can try other heating alternatives, you can’t replace your house once it’s burned down, so be sure to be safe rather than sorry. If your chimney is unfit, don’t use your fireplace before your haven’t fixed it.

Where to Find a Chimney Sweep?

Don’t neglect having your chimney inspected by a professional. While you can attempt to clean your own chimney, professional chimney sweeps are specially trained and know what to look for during inspections. So while there’s nothing wrong with cleaning your own chimney on a regular basis (assuming you know how to), you should still have it inspected annually by a chimney professional.

Chimney inspections are important, but unfortunately there are fake chimney sweeps who try to scam people. Most often, these people will require large upfront payments, but they’ll never even come back to look at your chimney.

Ask your chimney sweep about any special training they have. Many chimney sweeps are registered with the Chimney Safety Institute of America, or other official organizations that regulate chimney safety in the US.

But as long as the company sweeping your chimney is a real business, you probably won’t be scammed, so avoid hiring a chimney sweep who doesn’t work for a business that seems real. An online presence, or brick and mortar location both indicate that you’re working with real professionals.

Not sure where to find chimney sweeps in Knoxville, TN? Feel free to book an inspection with Chimney Sweeps West.