Did you forget to get a chimney inspection on the books amidst the busy and stressful holiday season? We get it. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, it can be hard to find time for home maintenance and fireplace care. That being said, neglecting your annual inspection altogether can lead to big and dangerous issues down the line. This is why we’re urging customers throughout Delaware County to give us a call right away – the team at Lou Curley’s Chimney Service is equipped to set you up right!
Creosote: What It Is & Why It’s Harmful
Now, one of the biggest reasons homeowners need to invest in sweepings and cleanings from time to time is because of potential creosote deposits in their flue. Creosote is a substance that forms as smoke, water vapor, and all kinds of other gases exit your chimney. It’s basically a residue that clings to your chimney’s interior walls after condensation occurs, and it can be really harmful to your system if left unaddressed.
What does it look like? Well, it can vary a bit depending on the state of your structure and how long it has been there, but it is typically darker in color and will take on one of three forms: flaky and light, tar-textured and gummy, or hard and glossy. No matter which type you have, getting it removed is a must, as creosote is always going to be flammable.
If the creosote inside of your chimney starts on fire, it will create what is called a chimney fire. These events are typically quiet and slow-moving, and they are always damaging to your structure. The firebox (where your fires are built) was designed to take on the intense heat associated with fires, but your masonry, chimney liner, and all the parts at the top of your flue were not.
In the end, your brickwork and mortar will weaken significantly, your liner will become damaged, and any metal parts (e.g. your chimney cap, flashing, and top-sealing damper) will warp and face decay. These issues will then lead to bigger problems, giving smoke, flames, and poisonous gases easy access to your home, increasing the likelihood of house fires and carbon monoxide exposure significantly.
So, this leads us to the question: Would you rather pay for some affordable maintenance now or shell out thousands for home and chimney repairs down the line? If you want to stay ahead of the game and out of harm’s way, then your best option would be to get in touch with our crew now. We’d be happy to look things over and see where you’re at!
Clogs & Air Flow
Another big problem associated with chimney neglect is the increased chance of experiencing clogs and other obstructions. Whether bad weather and harsh winds have sent dirt and debris into your flue or birds and other woodland critters have dragged in nesting materials, having any outside substance jammed into your chimney is never good. These flammable materials could easily ignite, increasing your chances of experiencing a chimney fire, and they will likely send smoke and fumes back into your home whenever your attempt to light a fire.
Draft and airflow are essential parts of operating an efficient appliance, and we have the tools to ensure nothing is hindering your system’s performance. Once we clear out any debris we find, we can also set you up with preventative measures to ensure the problems don’t recur down the line. For example, we strongly urge anyone with a missing or damaged cap to talk with our crew about having a new one installed. These play an integral role in keeping your chimney clean, and they help to prevent water damage and downdrafts, too – well worth it!
A Thorough Inspection Can Make All The Difference
The CSIA recommends fireplace owners invest in at least one inspection per year, and any reputable organization in this industry will agree. Inspections are a vital piece of chimney maintenance, and they give the sweep the opportunity to check for anything that could be putting a strain on your system. The sooner any damages or build-up is spotted, the sooner it can be taken care of, giving you the power to enjoy your fireplace to the fullest.
Yearly inspections also ensure your family stays as safe as possible while lighting fires, and they keep your home better protected, too. It’s a worthwhile investment, and it’s one that everyone should be adding to their to-do list, especially in a time of year where new goals and resolutions are in full swing.
Ready To Get Started? Our Team Is Here For You
You won’t find techs as experienced or as knowledgeable as ours anywhere else in Delaware County or in the Philadelphia Main Line area. In fact, our owner, Lou Curley, is the only CSIA Master Chimney Sweep in the state of Pennsylvania! We’re committed to being the best, and we work with a number of reputable organizations (such as the CSIA, the NFI, and the FIRE) to ensure we are always up-to-date and on top of it all.
When it comes to your chimney, you deserve the best care possible, and we’re here to offer it to you. Call today to get started!