Hopefully, you have never experience a chimney fire in Bloomington and won’t ever have to. But if you own a home with a fireplace (and use it), the risks of a chimney fire are there and it isn’t important to know what to do after one happens.
Once the fire is out and you have called your insurance company, you may think it is fine to just start using your fireplace again. It is not! You must have your chimney inspected and serviced before using your fireplace again. There are at least four crucial things to be checked for and resolved during this process:
- Creosote buildup
Creosote that is left behind from the fire can clog the up the chimney, presenting a risk for smoke and carbon monoxide to back up into the home. Creosote can also be fuel for a future chimney fire, so any buildup must be removed.
- Damage to the chimney
The fire may have damaged the chimney, especially the smoke shelf, chimney liner or flue tiles. These must be replaced if they are damaged.
- Smoke damage
In addition to damage from the fire directly, there may be smoke damage inside the chimney which will prevent it from working properly and safely.
- Proper ventilation
Any damage or buildup inside the chimney can cause improper ventilation, either in the form of too little clearance for gases to escape up the chimney or leaks that allow gases to ventilate outwards into the home. As mentioned in #1, this can cause smoke and carbon monoxide to get into your house.
In short, getting a quick inspection and potentially chimney repairs after a fire is a matter of safety and health. You want to reduce the risk of further unsafe events, such as carbon monoxide leaks, another chimney fire or even a collapse.
Hopefully you never have to deal with a chimney fire, but if you do, do not skip this important step in the aftermath. Please contact 2nd Generation Chimney if you have any questions about this.