There are multiple issues that you may not notice right away in your chimney. Those issues include a buildup of creosote, a damaged liner, and crumbling masonry. However, there is one issue that you may catch early on, and that would be a problem with your damper.
If there is ever a time that you cannot get your damper open, you will want to stop using your fireplace immediately and have it repaired. A damper that is not opening properly may cause smoke to back up and billow out into your home, which can cause health concerns and a mess. You will not want to put your family’s lives at risk by trying to wait it out and hope that you can eventually get that damper open.
While you may think that a damper that will not close is nothing to be concerned about, the sooner you have a professional look at it and fix it the better. You can use your fireplace when your damper is stuck in the open position, because it is safe and there won’t be any smoke entering your home. However, all the warm air inside your home will automatically go up and out of your chimney. That means that your furnace will be on more often and your energy bills will be much higher than you want or expect. The warm air will even escape if you close the glass doors in front of your fireplace.
Most of the time, a damper gets stuck in the open or closed position due to dirt on the valve stick. It is not that difficult to clean the dirt off the valve, but if you do not know what you are doing, it may not be wise to start a fire anytime soon. You wouldn’t want to think that everything is fixed and a start a fire to only find out that the damper is damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced.
In fact, we recommend that you have a professional clean off the valve, so that they can make sure that there isn’t any other significant damage to your damper. After all, if there is that much dirt on the valve stick of your damper, there is most likely quite a bit of buildup inside your chimney, and that will need to be removed as well.
Fireplace Safety and Chimney Inspections in Drexel Hill
We have two CSIA Certified chimney sweeps standing by to assist you with your chimney needs. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection or cleaning. We provide chimney services throughout the Main Line region.