There is good reason why chimney inspections are recommended as an annual exercise. A lot can happen to this structure over the course of a year. As a general rule, you should carry out an inspection and repairs before the winter season. This will leave you with months of hassle free use even though a few problems can still pop up in the winter time. Given the purpose of the chimney, almost every problem can pose a risk to your safety and the safety of your family and home’s contents.
If your flue is blocked, you will not be able to use the chimney, as it will not be able to vent the smoke and gases. In fact, gas companies usually turn off the supply if a customer’s home is found to have this problem. As you can imagine, this is not the kind of situation you want to find yourself in as winter draws near.
Dangers of a Blocked Flue
If you are unaware that your flue is blocked, using it could fill your home with carbon monoxide. This also applies to a flue connected to your heater or boiler. Since this gas is odorless and tasteless, you may not realize that something is wrong until it is too late. Even small amounts can be dangerous to you and your family, especially for children and the elderly.
What Causes a Blocked Flue?
The warmth of a chimney is very attractive to some birds and small animals. Windblown debris like leaves can easily end up inside the system as well. Another cause of blockages is birds building nests in the system. As more leaves and debris get in, the flue can get clogged quickly. Falling bits of mortar as the lining breaks down is sometimes a contributing factor to this problem.
In homes with older systems that lack a liner flue, the mortar will deteriorate even faster. This can easily accelerate the problem. If you plan to install a chimney flue or change an existing one, it must be the correct size for your system.
Maintaining your chimney can help you avoid a number of problems. It can also save you money on expensive repairs. Maintenance is a small cost compared to relining or mortar replacement. A trained chimney sweep can quickly determine if your system is blocked and take steps to deal with it. If you have not had a chimney inspection in a while, now is a good time. Talk to us at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service and we will check your system and deal with any problems we find.