There are certain things you should look for in
order to ensure a safer fireplace and chimney.
Make sure you have a
A chimney cap can help prevent water from getting down into your
fireplace, which could in turn cause moisture to get into your
attic. Chimney caps can stop downdrafts from entering your home
which could cause smoke to build up into your house. It can also
stop cold blasts of air from getting in your home. When caps
they have the added benefit of keeping out pests such as birds that
could build nests in the tops of your chimney. This would obviously
clog your chimney and create a smoke hazard.
Wire mesh also serves as as spark deflector which is very important
in dry areas. Check chimney caps for leaves and debris. Pay
attention during snow storms as ice and snow can clog up mesh
Watch out for Creosote which is a
buildup caused by wood smoke and is not only deposited on the flue
lining, but it can also clog the mesh. Creosote is black or brown in
appearance. It can be crusty and flaky, tar-like, drippy and sticky,
or shiny and hardened. Creosote is highly combustible. If enough
were to buildup in your chimney it could cause a chimney fire.
A chimney fire can actually melt mortar, crack tiles, destroy
liners, and outside masonry. All this leads to flames being able to
reach wood in your home, which means your entire house could catch
on fire. Restricted air supply, unseasoned wood, and cooler
than normal chimney temperatures can speed up the buildup of
creosote on chimney flue walls.
When chimneys are very wide along the slope of a
roof, a cricket is advised. A cricket will push away water from
sitting on the side of the chimney which will make it less likely to
get into your home, thus preventing moisture problems.
You want to check to make sure there aren't any
tree limbs that are above the chimney or too close to your chimney.
Bricks and mortar should be in good shape and not
Never burn plastics or garbage in fireplace. You
will release toxic fumes into your living area.
It's important to have gaps and cracks in the
hearth, firebox, or chimney repaired. These could cause a fire.
Make sure you have smoke detectors installed.
Obviously, you want to keep flammable objects a
safe distance from your fireplace.
It's recommended that you have a professional
chimney sweep clean your chimney regularly. The National Fire
Protection Association says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall
be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from
deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs
shall be done if necessary.”
list of what is included in a Quality Homes inspection.
East Tennessee Quality Home
Quality Home Inspections serves the East Tennessee area of
Roane, Loudon, Knox, Anderson, and Cumberland counties which
includes the areas of
Lenoir City, and
Crossville, Tennessee. The goal of
Quality Home Inspections is to help make the home buying
decision a little less complex by providing a professional
visual inspection and report of various systems and areas of
Email me with any questions you might have at the address below.