Most of the chimney related problems comes into notice immediately before the advent of winter or late fall which can be a high risk due to the unavailability of professional chimney cleaners(because it is a peak season for such services)to attend the issue on time. They are many common chimney related problems if identified earlier can save a lot of time and cost in addition to lessening the last minute tensions. Here the 5 most common chimney issues and its preventive measures that can be easily fixed by chimney cleaning northern VA:
Cresote formation: It is a dark brown or black coloured tar and is a combination of soothe and fine carbon powder formed as a byproduct of burning wood. Every time when the wood is burned, the smoke goes up the chimney with the Cresote eventually building up on the sides of the flue system. It mostly gets deposited in 3 forms, all of which in the due course of time leads to reduced chimney ventilation allowing dangerous fumes containing gases like carbon monoxide to enter the house. This gas poses high danger to one’s health.
It is highly flammable substance and can cause chimney fire as well as a house fire by creating blockages in the flue.
It can be easily controlled by regular cleaning of the chimney interiors. Using only properly dried and cured wood can reduce Cresote formation. Dampers if present should be completely opened to allow free airflow and regulate Cresote. The chimney cleaning northern VA professionals can fix any further problems.
Brick wall / Masonry problems: Chimney Masonry is usually built to last for many years. The problem arises only when the mortar joining the bricks starts deteriorating. A neglect at such times can lead to crumbling and total collapse of the chimney. A mortar deterioration can lead to moisture entering the chimney system leading to many problems like causing rust,odors, leaks and cracks in the chimney.
Although a good mortar works fine for 25 years on average, but regular maintenance is necessary .Tuck-pointing is a method used frequently to address such issues where damaged mortar is removed and replaced by new one to add stability and protection to the chimney. In case of extreme damage bricks need total replacement.
Chimney crowns, caps and damper issues: Usually the chimney top is its crown. Some fireplaces are given extra protection of caps and dampers. Any damage to these parts of a chimney can create a problem. These form the first line of defense of a fire place and chimney system. They prevent unwanted external elements like snow, rain, moisture, animals and other type of debris getting between the outer wall and the inner flue. Dampers in addition help to completely close the chimney when it is not used. Extreme external conditions can cause wear and tear to these protective barriers and can cause blockages in the chimney.
Regular professional inspection and maintenance can detect any such damages. Damaged chimney caps and dampers should be replaced.
Although tiles are easy to replace but the use of stainless steel lining for the flue can prevent such cracking risks. Cameras can detect any cracks present in the inner lining of the chimney.