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The 3 Most Common Winter Chimney Problems

Post by : dminCMC



For people in Connecticut, chimneys don’t come into use until there’s a chill in the air—and when you do start using them, you use them all through the winter. Continuous use is bound to lead to problems, and many of these problems surface more commonly in the winters.

Some of the most common problems people face with chimneys are…

1.      Creosote Accumulation

When you burn a large quantity of softwoods for an extended period of time, the walls of your chimney end up with a glassy, tar-like substance that’s greasy to the touch and black as the night. This isn’t soot. This is a dangerous chemical compound that can lead to many health complications for the members of your household when not cleared properly.

It’s called creosote, and it can also cause problems for the structure of your house. Creosote is basically soot mixed with tar, and more than looking dirty, it can cause fires.

2.      Obstruction

glass door fireplace

You’re using your chimneys and your fireplace constantly in the winters, and that can only mean one thing: debris. Whether it’s soot, tar, dust, dirt, ash, or anything else, it will eventually collect. The important thing to do here is to clean it all out before it can cause any damage to the structure of the house.

Obstruction in the chimney acts like a roadblock and stops the smoke from effectively finding an outlet to the outside. What happens, therefore, is that the smoke often gets trapped, and an excess of it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. In the worst-case scenarios, it can even cause fires—and you really don’t want that.

3.      Trapped Animals

Since it’s cold, animals try to get into any protective places they can find—and chimneys look like the best option, especially for birds. Other small animals, such as squirrels, also like to take up residence in these tall towers that only spell doom for them—and for you.

You can try opening the damper and covering your fireplace, such as with a glass mesh. If the animal can get out, they will. If not, you’ll need professional help. Refrain from lighting up the structure while an animal is stuck there—you don’t want to roast them alive.

Got Any of These Problems?

If you do, don’t worry. We’d suggest you don’t try dealing with any of these chimney problems on your own—especially not problems like trying to pry out trapped animals or clearing creosote. It’s always best to call a professional to do the job, and if you’re in Connecticut, give us, at Creative Masonry and Chimney, a call today. We all kinds of chimney services, including chimney repair and cleaning.