The chimney is one of the most important structures in a home. Though seldom used, especially in New York, the chimney can be the best feature of a home, ensuring warmth during cold, winter nights. Yet, at the same time, it can be seen as the single-most most dangerous part of a home, responsible for structural damage, and even worse, causing deadly fires and carbon monoxide levels. Whether it is seen as a positive or negative feature, it is both critically and vitally important to have your chimney inspected on a YEARLY basis. In summary form, chimney inspections are necessary to ensure the safety of your home, its structure, as well as the people and contents within it. In fact, it is even more important to have the chimney inspected than any other structure of a home.
We, at Alliance Chimney, know all too well how seldom homeowners have their chimneys cleaned and even more importantly, inspected. Whether this is because homeowners don’t want to deal with the hassle, see it as yet another expense, forget about it, or take a plea of ignorance, failure to get a chimney inspection, could potentially result in expensive repairs, extensive damage, or deadly consequences. Alliance Chimney truly cares about our neighbors and clients, which is why we are stressing the importance of getting a chimney inspection yearly. Our experts will do everything in their power to ensure the safety and security of your home and family.
Below are the top 10 reasons to have a chimney inspection. Our inspectors ensure every part of the chimney is functioning properly and has not been damaged, so the chimney is safe and secure:
Code – Over the years, state and city codes change, in order to keep homes and structures as safe as possible. Just as with electrical and plumbing requirements and codes have changed, so have those on chimneys and fireplaces. These changes are due to evidence that the previous codes/requirements are dangerous. Our inspectors will ensure your chimney and fireplace is up to code, therefore ensuring you don’t incur penalties and/or you are not at risk for a safety problem.
Cap – Laws now require chimney caps be installed on the top of the chimney. The chimney cap helps prevent rain, snow, leaves, debris, and other outside elements from getting into the chimney. Without a chimney cap, water and moisture can result in water damage, cracks, and ultimately expensive structural damage.
Liner – Chimney liners are required to line the inside of the chimney for several reasons. The liner prevents water from seeping into the brick and mortar, which can cause damage. Chimney liners also help reduce build-up within the chimney, which can become dangerous. Lastly, chimney liners also prevent toxic gases and materials, caused by fires, from getting into the structure of the home.
Blowers/Flues – Properly functioning blowers (for wood/coal burning) and flues are critical to safety. Their primary function is to blow or carry smoke, fumes, and carbon monoxide outside the home.
Flashing – Flashing is a material used to connect the chimney and roof, in order to prevent leaks and water damage.
Build-Up – Overtime, chimneys build-up thick layers of soot, otherwise known as creosote. This build-up is a health hazard by itself, but it also prevents proper airflow and can cause unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.
Blockages – Blockages most usually occur due to broken pieces or damage within the chimney or from outside elements, such as leaves and debris which build up over time. Sometimes animals even make the inside of a chimney their home, building nests within. Blockages are extremely dangerous because they constrict the airflow, which gives smoke, CO2, and even the fire no way out, but through the home.
Cracks/Damage – Cracks and damage to the chimney, both inside and out, can eventually lead to severe structural issues. In earlier stages, they can intervene with the airflow and become a safety hazard.
Heat (Money) – Properly functioning chimneys will ensure the greatest amount of heat, reducing costs of electric and oil bills.
Structural Design – Not all chimneys are structurally feasible for the size and design of a home. When older chimneys were built, the structural design was not weighed as it is now. Additionally, when changes are made to the layout and/or structure of a home, there is a possibility that the changes could mean the chimney will not be sufficient or that the changes may have caused a safety issue.
Remember, there is no price to put on safety. Yearly inspections and necessary maintenance are the keys to preventing unnecessary damage, fires, and other hazards, therefore ensuring a safe home and health family.