More than 15,000 house fires are caused by the clothes dryer every year. Add another nearly 23,000 chimney fires, and you have about 38,000 house fires that could have been prevented by hiring a certified chimney sweep for an inspection and cleaning. We all take our vehicle to the garage for servicing after 3,000 miles, and we change our tires as needed so our vehicle remains safe to drive. We need that type of due diligence in place where the chimney and dryer vent are concerned as well. Let’s look at some hidden dangers in the chimney and dryer vent, and how they can be avoided.
Hidden Dangers in the Chimney
The chimney is actually a hole in the roof that leads from the top of the chimney to your fireplace. It requires a chimney cap and crown in order to prevent rain, debris, and small animals from entering. Here are the leading causes of chimney fires and other dangers involving the chimney:
- Creosote: the dark, sticky substance that lines the flue after you’ve used the fireplace or wood stove several times. Creosote is made up of highly combustible materials that can ignite if a spark travels up the chimney, which happens often. Chimney fires burn very hot and intense, and often catch supporting members, such as your roof or ceiling joists, on fire due to the heat.
- Debris: leaves, sticks, and other items may become stuck in the chimney.
- Nests: small creatures including mice, birds, and even raccoons, have been known to build nests in the chimney. Little do they know that their safe place isn’t as safe as they would like, and isn’t safe for your family either.
- Cracks: water and other damage can cause cracks in the flue, or lining, and result in a dangerous situation for your family.
Anything that becomes lodged in the flue can alter the flow of smoke and dangerous gases, resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning. The most important thing you can do if you use your fireplace and chimney on a regular basis is to have them inspected and cleaned at least once per year.
Hidden Dangers in the Dryer Vent
Lint is the primary danger where clothes dryers are concerned. The dryer is designed to pull cool air from the room, infuse it with heat, tumble the heated air with your laundry, and push the moist, heated air through the hose and out the exterior vent. Any glitch in this process can cause the dryer to overheat and cause a fire. Buildup of lint in the dryer hose or vent can also cause a fire.
Many homeowners don’t really think about the chimney, flue, fireplace, or dryer venting system until they begin having problems; they are out of sight, out of mind, after all. You can rely on the services of Lou Curley’s Chimney Service for all of your chimney and dryer vent cleaning needs in Drexel Hill and the surrounding areas. We’re a locally owned and operated business, and we pride ourselves in providing top notch chimney services in Delaware County and the Springfield area. Call us at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA and C-DET certified technicians.