We spend a lot of time warning people about chimney fires, advising homeowners on how to prevent a fire, and sharing information about preventing fires from spreading to the outside of the home. Unfortunately, chimney fires are an all-too-common reality for people who use their fireplace. In our area, it’s essential to know what to do if you encounter a chimney fire, and what will happen to your home as a result.
For more information on chimney fires, or to get services for your chimney and fireplace in Minneapolis, give us a call. For now, read on to find out what can happen to your chimney when a fire starts, how you may not even know about it in the first place, and what to do to detect and repair the damage.
Why you may not know you’ve had a chimney fire
One the one hand, you may notice these signs as you’re using your fireplace.
- Loud noises such as a popping or cracking
- Smoke that is denser than usual and may even move into the home
- The smell of burning
However, you might not realize a fire has taken place at all. Since the fire is contained in the chimney most of the time, you may not be able to see it, and it will not necessarily mean an immediate threat to your home. Still, the long-term or short-term consequences can be quite dangerous.
Checking for signs of damage
After some time, chimney fires can weaken the structure of a chimney. This may mean that the next chimney fire is able to spread to the outside of the home, something you need to prevent at all costs.
Periodically, you should spend some time checking around the chimney and fireplace for potential signs of a fire. This is an ideal job for the summer, but you should do it throughout the winter too. You can look for signs such as…
- Damaged roofing
- Cracks in the chimney exterior
- A damaged antenna atop the house
- Flakes of creosote on the ground
Getting a professional chimney inspection and cleaning
Whether or not you’ve noticed signs of a fire, it’s important to get a professional chimney inspection each year. Professionals use highly specialized detection equipment to find signs of a fire, such as puffy creosote and cracks in the interior of the chimney.
Besides, you must have your chimney cleaned each year. Creosote, a tar-like substance that collects in the chimney as you use your fireplace, is highly flammable and is the source of many chimney fires. Your chimney sweep should both inspect the chimney and prevent further damage and fires all in one visit.
Preventing a fire from spreading to the outside of the home
Perhaps the most important step to take after a chimney fire involves safeguarding your home against future fires. If there is damaged masonry, even if you feel it adds some charm to the home, you must get this repaired. This increases the risk of fire spreading outside of the home.
Your chimney sweep can tell you more about your risk. Call a local CSIA-Certified Chimney Sweep after a fire or to help you detect fires in the first place.
2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. is your source for chimney sweeps in Minneapolis, MA.