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Do Fireplaces Really Need Maintenance?

“Fireplaces are maintenance free!” This is one of the most unfortunate misunderstandings about fireplaces that homeowners have. Because fireplaces and chimneys are usually made of the sturdiest material available, like stone and brick, and have construction that can stand the test of decades, they give the sense that they are essentially invincible and do not need any regular care.

But nothing could be farther from the truth. You need regular inspection and fireplace maintenance in Minnetonka, MN not only to make sure the fireplace consumes fuel and vents properly, but also to avoid possible dangers from chimney fires. For the necessary professional maintenance for your fireplace, make sure you rely on licensed chimney sweeps like those at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. We are proud members of the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

Why fireplaces must have maintenance

A fireplace offers cosmetic beauty to the inside of your home, and the chimney to the outside, but they do have the basic function of funneling combustion gases away from the interior of your home and into the outside air. Without regular care, this job will become more difficult for the fireplace.

One particular section of a fireplace that needs regular care is the damper, which opens and closes the fireplace to the flue. A rusty or stuck damper can turn into a significant danger and make your fireplace essentially unusable.

Then there is the problem of creosote: this is the unburned wood energy that will begin to coat the fireplace and the flue, and it will increase in a fireplace that is dirty and not allowing combustion product to easily escape. Creosote is easy to spot: a shiny, tarry black substance. Aside from looking unattractive, creosote is highly combustible, and this leads to the most serious safety concern for a fireplace: chimney fires.

Without regular maintenance, creosote will build up in the flue and fireplace, and when the heat rises high enough, a fire will break out inside the chimney. According to the CSIA, these fires can melt mortar, crack tiles, cause liners to collapse and damage the outer masonry material. Worst of all, this damage can allow heat to reach the combustible building material around the chimney, causing fires to break out on upper floors or the roof.

The CSIA recommends an annual maintenance inspection from a certified chimney sweep to see that the fireplace is venting safely and there is no creosote danger.

To sign up for an excellent program for fireplace maintenance in Minnetonka, MN, contact the team at 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. today. Make your fireplace a source of joy, never a source of danger.

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