The DIY concept has become so popular among homeowners that many of them take on jobs they lack the technical expertise to handle. Chimney inspection and cleaning easily fall into this category, and the potential for danger from fires or flue gases should cause concern. This does not mean that you shouldn’t take an active role in the maintenance of your own chimney. Rather, you should recognize the limitations of your tools and the lack of training in this field. Here are some mistakes people make when they inspect their own chimneys

  1. Thinking small cracks are not a big deal. Even the smallest cracks in the chimney can be a warning of more problems to come. Among the more serious is the possibility that the chimney lacks adequate support, and it is starting to lean. Poor construction is another factor which can cause cracks. Leaks can also weaken the structure when water inside the mortar and bricks freezes in winter.
  2. Miscalculating creosote buildup. Any chimney expert will tell you that even a small amount of creosote in the chimney should not be ignored. You might think that with a small amount, your chimney will be fine for the next winter. The problem is you can’t predict how long that will be, and you should take no chances with this flammable substance. A chimney technician will be ale to examine the entire length of the structure for creosote, and it makes sense to start each winter with a clean chimney.
  3. Missing the signs of moisture. Even small amounts of moisture can take a heavy toll on a chimney. With a basic inspection, it is easy for minimal moisture intrusion to go unnoticed. Chimney experts know exactly what to look for so you can deal with this before it causes the kind of damage that leads to lengthy and expensive repairs.

DIY chimney cleaning can lead to a few mistakes as well. This type of job is not for everyone, and the average homeowner does not have the tools to do it properly. Chimney experts will also be able to tell if there is any damage to internal components that can affect chimney function. Clean out your fireplace and make sure your chimney cap is secure to play your role in protecting the structure. A basic inspection is good, but a professional will do a thorough job and get you ready for the winter season.

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.