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Start Chimney Maintenance Right Away for a Long-Lasting Fireplace

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From the moment you walked into your home and saw the fireplace, you knew this house was The One. A fireplace serves as a sophisticated focal point in any home. The crackling wood fire adds a touch of elegance to any holiday or special occasion, and during the cold, snowy winters in Colorado, your fireplace can also function as a heating unit. However, when you burn wood regularly in your fireplace, experts recommend starting a regular maintenance plan early to head off any serious dangers of a poorly maintained chimney.

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How Does a Dirty Chimney Pose Danger?

Burning wood in a fireplace results in a compound called creosote. This tar-like material forms when wood burns incompletely and it travels up the chimney, sticking to the walls of the flue. If the creosote is not removed from the flue regularly, the sticky chemical builds up even faster. As the creosote builds up, the air path through the chimney becomes restricted, which results in the dangerous gases seeping back into your home. These gases include tiny creosote particles, which are known carcinogens, and carbon monoxide, which can be fatal.

In addition to harmful fumes infiltrating your home, choosing not to care for your chimney regularly can also result in a house fire. The creosote in the flue is also highly flammable, and according to the National Fire Protection Association, most house fires caused by fireplaces are a result of “failure to clean” properly. From 2004 to 2008, an estimated 15,200 creosote fires occurred each year across the country. This resulted in an average of $33 million in damage and caused several civilian deaths.

How Can I Properly Maintain My Chimney?

Dirty and damaged chimneys can pose a serious health and safety threat. The risk of encountering these issues is greatly reduced when you properly maintain your fireplace and chimney. The National Fire Protection Association recommends having an annual chimney sweep performed, in addition to a general flue and masonry inspection.

Having your chimney swept clears out any creosote buildup, which cuts down on the risk of dangerous gases and fires in your home. In addition, the inspector can check the flue for any damage. Remember that every time you have a fire, you expose your flue to extreme heat, smoke and other gases. While the flue is designed to hold up to all of this, regularly checking it for damage is good practice.

Not only should you have your chimney swept, but you should also have an inspector assess the outside of your chimney, particularly if it is a masonry chimney. An inspector can find issues like water damage or deteriorating brick or mortar. If caught early, these issues can be fixed easily at a reasonable cost. If the damage is allowed to continue for years without being addressed, the problem grows exponentially and the repairs will cost significantly more.

Who Should Maintain My Chimney?

Armed with the knowledge of how crucial it is to your health and safety to have a well-maintained chimney, your best bet is to hire an expert in your area to perform annual chimney sweeps and thorough inspections. If you live in Hotchkiss, Colorado or the surrounding area, contact Bulldog Chimney Sweeps for a professional consultation. This company can provide you with an annual chimney sweep, a comprehensive video inspection and masonry repair and restoration.