Today I’m going to discuss how you can perform your own chimney inspection between professional inspections. Every homeowner should be familiar with and comfortable with their chimney. You have to be able to pay attention to small details and see any changes that occur, especially during the burning season. Here’s some valuable information about how you can get to know your chimney better.
Exterior Visual Inspection: Obviously you can see your chimney from outside your home. Take a good look at it; use binoculars if you don’t want to climb onto the roof. Look at it from every angle if possible. Pay close attention to the chimney cap, the structure of the chimney itself, and the flashing if you can see it. Make mental (or physical) notes regarding any oddities you see so you can compare notes from month to month.
Inspect the Flue: The flue is also often called the lining. You can make a visual inspection of the lining by using a very bright flashlight and looking down from the top of the chimney or up from the bottom. It will be very dark in there, but as long as you have a direct line of sight from one end to the other, and creosote isn’t more than one-eighth of an inch thick, the chimney should be good for use.
Another access area is the cleanout access door. Not all chimneys have a cleanout access door.
Look for Signs of Water: Inspect the entire chimney for signs of water; the structure, the flue, the damper, and the firebox. Any signs of moisture should lead you directly to a phone call to a certified chimney sweep so we can perform a professional inspection and make sure everything is safe for use.
That’s about all you need to do, and it only takes a few minutes a month. Include it in your routine walk around the lawn while inspecting the overall exterior of your home for potential problems. Every homeowner should have a basic inspection and maintenance routine shortly after moving into the home to ensure that they’re intimately familiar with things that can go wrong.
Schedule a Chimney Cleaning and Inspection
It only takes a quick phone call to schedule a yearly chimney cleaning and inspection. The peace of mind you feel when the Certified Chimney Sweep says, “Everything looks great!” is priceless. It lets you know that your chimney, an appliance that pulls toxins and smoke out of your home, is in perfect working order.
Lou Curley Chimney Services is located in the Philadelphia area. I provide inspection, cleaning, and repair services to homeowners and business owners alike. Call me any time to schedule an appointment for a cleaning and inspection, or if you have any questions about the self-guided chimney inspection process.