This a tougher question than it sounds. The simple answer is: The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 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.” This is the national safety standard and is the correct way to approach the problem. It takes into account the fact that even if you don’t use your Chimney Sweeping much, animals may build nests in the flue or there may be other types of deterioration that could make the chimney unsafe to use.
The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be swept at 1/8″ of sooty buildup, and sooner if there is any glaze present in the system. This is considered to be enough fuel buildup to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney or spreading to the home. Factory-built fireplaces should be swept when any appreciable buildup occurs. The logic is that the deposit is quite acidic and can shorten the life of the fireplace. Chimney Sweeping St. Paul MN
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The Importance of Routine Chimney Repairs and InspectionThe fireplace is a beautiful and functional part of your home, but it is also potentially dangerous. Without proper cleaning and maintenance, your fireplace and chimney could turn into major fire hazards. Hiring professional chimney cleaners can help keep your family safe. Chimney inspectors and cleaners can visit your home regularly for routine maintenance and repairs. Chimney Hazards It is simple enough to keep your fireplace clean and in good shape, but your chimney is another matter. It might be more difficult to tell if your chimney has structural damage or physical blockages within its shaft without the appropriate tools. One common problem with traditional chimneys is the build-up of creosote. This substance, produced by burning wood and coal in fireplaces, is highly flammable. Creosote is usually dark brown or black in appearance, and can appear dry and flaky, tar-like and sticky, or shiny and hard depending on the type of fuel you burn and the amount of condensation that occurs inside your chimney. Allowing creosote to build up inside your chimney may result in dangerous chimney fires. These can be slow-burning fires that cause severe damage to your chimney's internal structure. The only way to detect these fires is the low, rumbling sound (similar to the sound a low-flying plane makes) coming from the chimney. They may also be dangerous, explosive fires that even your neighbors will probably see and hear. Even modern gas chimneys that do not use wood or coal for fuel have their own share of problems. Rust, corrosion, and other forms of natural deterioration can still pose risks like carbon monoxide leaks. Old chimneys made of stone or bricks often require reinforcement or rebuilding. These are prone to crumbling during earthquakes or eroding during rainstorms, especially if part of its structure wore out over the years. Preventing Chimney Problems Keeping your chimney clean and repairing structural problems as soon as they start developing is the best way to prevent chimney fires and other complications. Hire experts providing chimney cleaning services in your area for these tasks. You can perform minor repairs yourself, but it is usually better to call on chimney cleaning professionals to make sure every part of your chimney is in good shape. Companies offering chimney cleaning often offer chimney repairs and inspection as well. Inspections come in three levels: Level I for standard annual inspections, Level II for more in-depth inspections of the chimney and the rooms close to it, and Level III for thorough examinations after a Level I or II reveals physical obstructions or structural damage. Level III inspections determine the type of repairs your chimney requires. Finding Professional Cleaners Many companies and individuals offer chimney cleaning or chimney repair in Long Island, but you should not just hire the first ones you see. Check out their licenses and insurance coverage first. Their cleaning licenses prove their efficiency, while insurance coverage helps you deal with accidents that may occur during the cleaning, inspection, or repair process.
Chimney Repair - The 5 Most Common Chimney Issues and How to Fix ThemThere is nothing quite as comforting as a roaring fire on a cold winter day to warm your heart and your home. A fireplace is something your entire family can enjoy. But you need to make sure chimney repair and maintenance is done correctly in order to ensure your families safety. The Importance of Chimney Repair A chimney is designed to draw the smoke and gases produced by a fire up and safely out of your home. This is extremely important since some of these gases are dangerous. One of the most dangerous is carbon monoxide which in large enough doses can kill. A second important function of the chimney is to contain the excess heat from a fire until it can be vented to the outside air. Most of your home is combustible. If the chimney does not get this extremely hot air outside without leaks it can easily cause a fire in your home. This is why it is so important for you to make sure that any needed chimney repair is done correctly in order to keep you, your family and your home safe. Here are some important tips to ensure that your fireplace is working correctly and avoid some common chimney repair issues. Creosote Buildup Creosote is an oil that is produced when wood or other solids are set on fire. Over time the creosote can build up on the inside of your chimney. If there is too much buildup it can ignite and cause a fire in your chimney. Blockage Another common chimney repair issue is having a blockage in the flue of your chimney. This can be caused by debris from material dislodging in your chimney or even by animal nests. Blockages, even small ones affect the efficiency of your chimney in getting smoke, gases and heat out of your home. Cracks Or Holes In The Flue Some of the gases from a fire are quite corrosive and over time can damage your chimney flue and create the potential for blockages or even allow dangerous gases to seep into your home. Make sure that your flue gets an annual inspection to ensure that it is working correctly. Brickwork Problems Another problem is caused if the flue starts to leak and erode the masonry and brickwork around the exterior and require extensive chimney repair work. Too much of this can cause major structural damage which will make your chimney repair much more expensive. Chimney Cap and Chimney Crown The chimney cap and crown basically make up the roof of the chimney that surrounds the flue and keeps water and debris from getting into the chimney. If this is cracked or missing pieces it can allow water damage to the inside of the chimney and even damage the ability of the flue to channel gases and heat out of the home. This area also keeps animals, debris and weather out of your flue. Conclusion If you see any of these problems when you inspect your chimney, you need to see that any needed repair is made before the fireplace is used. While you may be able to fill small cracks, you should consult a professional for any larger issue. It is always recommended that you have your chimney cleaned, inspected and any needed chimney repair work done at least once a year to ensure its safe operation. To ensure the safety of your family make sure that you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home. These should be placed on each floor or at a minimum on the floor where your family sleeps. Check them regularly to make sure they are working properly to protect your family from even low levels of carbon monoxide. By taking care of any needed chimney repair as soon as you see it the costs for the repairs will be much less than if you let the problem get larger. Make sure that your chimney is inspected regularly and it will give you years of safe use.
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