During warm weather, your fireplace is probably not at the top of your mind. However, it’s important to have your chimney inspected before winter arrives. Scheduling a chimney inspection during summer or fall will let you safely enjoy your fireplace when winter comes. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends having your chimney inspected once every year. The benefits of an annual chimney inspection include:
Keeping Your Chimney Clear
Like your home’s gutters, your chimney can become clogged with leaves, sticks, and animal nests. If there’s a buildup of debris inside your chimney, a fire could occur when you use your fireplace. A blocked chimney also creates a risk of carbon monoxide exposure. A qualified chimney sweep will be able to remove anything blocking the chimney, including animals.
Prevent Chimney Fires
Over time, creosote will build up on chimney walls. Creosote is a tar-like chemical compound that forms when you burn wood in your fireplace. Creosote is highly flammable; in fact, creosote build-up is a leading cause of chimney fires. The best way to prevent a chimney fire is to hire a CSIA-certified chimney sweep to inspect and clean your chimney.
Find and Fix Damage
Like anything else in your home, your chimney must be in good condition to function properly. Every component must be in working order for your home to be protected. Without regular inspections, many chimney problems are overlooked until they become serious and costly. A chimney sweep will assess your chimney for damaged flue liners, broken dampers, and cracked chimney crowns, and perform any needed repairs.
Homeowner’s Insurance Requirements
Many homeowner’s insurance policies require annual chimney inspections and cleanings. Damage caused by your fireplace may not be covered unless you can prove that the chimney has been cleaned and inspected each year.
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