One reason why people switch from wood burning stoves and fireplaces is the desire for less maintenance. This does not mean that a gas fireplace does not need maintenance. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, regular maintenance is important regardless of the type of fireplace you own.
The Presence of Deposits
When you use a wood burning fireplace, the ash residue will always be obvious, and there creosote will build up in the chimney. The residue buildup with gas fireplaces is less obvious but it will still need cleaning. The burning of gas does produce a residue that gets deposited in the chimney. Most people are unaware of this because it is difficult to see it, but it can eventually affect the function of the fireplace. The residue can eventually have a corrosive effect on the system.
Getting Fireplace Inspected
A technician will carry out a detailed inspection of the fireplace and the entire system to make sure that it can be operated safely and efficiently. The exterior must be checked for cracks. The glass doors of gas fireplaces sometimes develop a filmy appearance. Other levels of inspection and maintenance are:
- Vents clogged by pieces of ceramic logs
- A malfunctioning ignition system
- Clearing out any residue in vents
- Inspecting the valves to ensure that they are functioning correctly and that there are no leaks
- Checking for a blockage in the chimney, such as windblown debris or a bird’s nest
The technician must perform an overall check of the fireplace and the chimney system, looking for anything that could pose a problem. These checks usually cover carbon monoxide detectors as well. The technician may be concerned with the number of detectors you have, and whether they are in the right locations. The chimney will also require a proper inspection. Damaged mortar joints can make the chimney leaky, decreasing its structural integrity and causing damage to the home. Moisture can also weaken the flue tiles. If they fall off, this can affect the function of the fireplace. The technician must ensure that the crown is in good condition.
If you own a gas fireplace, calling a technician once per year for an inspection is essential. The buildup of corrosive substances can lead to expensive repairs, so take the proactive approach and catch these signs early.
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.