In the age of not only combustion boilers and furnaces but also modern technology like heat pumps and ductless mini splits, there are undoubtedly those individuals that look upon the old-fashioned fireplace/chimney combo as being a relic from the past. Those of us fortunate enough to have a well-designed and properly maintained fireplace/chimney setup, however, know different. Not only is the heat generated comforting, but the ambiance is incredibly relaxing.
Of course, that roaring fire is going to be a lot more difficult to enjoy if your chimney is not in great working condition. Even worse, you may not be able to use your fireplace safely if it is not functioning properly! The last thing that you want to do is to put your safety—and that of your family—at risk when simply trying to use the fireplace in your home. So read on, learn about some warning signs that may mean you need chimney repair in St. Paul, MN, and give us a call with any concerns that you may have.
Is There Smoke Filling Your Living Space?
Some warning signs of trouble with your chimney can actually be quite subtle. This—isn’t one of them. If you are burning wood in your fireplace, and you find yourself coughing and hacking because the room is slowly filling with smoke, then yes, you most likely have a problem. What can cause that problem, though?
If the issue is confined to when you are first starting your fire, then your chimney and fireplace may simply be a bit too cold to funnel smoke out of your home effectively. This is why some homeowners will sometimes prime their chimney by holding burning newspaper under the damper to get the cold air moving out of the chimney. If the issue doesn’t stop throughout the duration of a fire, though, then you may have damper issues or even an obstruction in the fireplace. That requires professional intervention.
Are There Cracks In the Masonry?
This should be one of those warning signs that will immediately raise red flags for homeowners, but it is easy to overlook such issues in our busy day to day lives. Just because your chimney is not crumbling away from the side of your home, however, doesn’t mean that you can ignore signs of masonry issues.
If your masonry is cracking or crumbling, it is not really just structural integrity that you have to worry about—though that is certainly a major concern! You also have issues related to the elements to consider, not to mention serious efficiency problems resulting from heat escaping and cold winter air making its way in!
Is the Damper or Firebox Rusty?
Moisture is a serious problem for furnaces. It doesn’t matter if it is an issue of condensation, water seeping in through masonry gaps, or rain falling directly in through the opening of the chimney itself. Rust on the firebox or damper is a pretty clear sign that you’ve got a moisture problem on your hands. Don’t ignore any such issues. Give us a call when you notice rust in your setup.