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How to Tell if Your Fireplace and Chimney Desperately Need an Upgrade

Post by : dminCMC


When was the last time your chimney and fireplace had an inspection? If your answer was ‘last year,’ it might be time to schedule another one to ensure that everything’s in order.
Given that its winter, your fireplace and chimney are probably being used all the time, keeping you and your family warm and safe against the winter breeze. So, it’s important to get any potential problems fixed ASAP.
Here are some things you should be on the lookout for:

-Buckling Masonry

Check the chimney and fireplace’s brick or stonework. Notice any cracks or gaps? Chips in the firebox or the surrounding hearth? All of these conditions mandate repairs.
When lighting the fire, if you see excessive sparks and cinders, you should probably contact a professional mason so they can fix the small gaps that are giving the heat a direct route to surrounding areas.

-Black Soot and Fallen Debris

Flaky, crumbly soot is not a good sign. Known as creosote, this brown/black residue that forms on the flue of your chimney is a build-up of a chemical from the wood you use.
Overtime, this build-up expands, especially if you don’t keep your chimney clean. As a result, the creosote not only blocks your chimney, but it also increases the chances of chimney fires.
If you find any broken tiles or shards in the firebox, this indicates that the flue of the chimney has become substantially damaged and needs to be thoroughly cleaned.
So it may be time to get your chimney inspected by a professional chimney sweep.

-Smoky Smells

Contrary to popular belief, your fireplace isn’t supposed to smell heavily of smoke. If you do experience this smell, extinguish the fire and have someone from the local fire department see to your fireplace right away.
Using thermal imaging or a heat-sensing gun, the investigator should be able to pinpoint the source of the blockage and heat.

-Changes in the Surrounding Wall

An improperly installed firebox, damaged liner, or cracked masonry that may be leading to heat escaping—any of these issues can cause the wood framing of your wall to become dry and charred, and the wallpaper to change color.
If there’s excessive heat escaping into the walls, you may also have picture frames falling off the wall around the fireplace, since the heat will cause the drywall to soften.
In fact, if you see any change in the walls around your fireplace, it would be wise to have them checked by an expert.

Contact Creative Masonry & Chimney

A leading company in Connecticut that offers chimney services, fireplace repair and installation as well as masonry restoration among other services in numerous cities including New Hartford, Farmington and Avon, Creative Masonry & Chimney can give your fireplace and chimney the attention it needs.
For further information, get in touch with us.