After installing a fireplace, most homeowners think the only thing they have to do is to clean it. Far from this, as chimneys develop a gamut of problems that put you and your loved ones at risk. Some of the things that can go wrong with your fireplace as given by chimney contractors include:
The firebox is the area where you light a fire. The area is made from special bricks designed to stand fire at extreme temperatures. Just like the flue, the firebox develops gaps and cracks. A damaged firebox has the same effects as a damaged chimney flue:
- Chimney loses a lot of heat
- Increased creosote deposition
- Risk of carbon monoxide intoxication
For you to fix the problem, find new bricks that closely resemble the original color. After completing the brickwork, cover the area with a layer of waterproof caulking, that will keep the chimney from water damage.
The layer will also prevent heat and gas from escaping through the gaps.
Just like with the chimney flue, you can do the work by yourself if you have the skills or hire an expert to help you out. When hiring a chimney technician, ensure the professional is experienced and won’t cause more chimney problems than were originally there.
The price charged by the contractors will guide you on how experienced they are. If they are too cheap, they are most likely inexperienced and won’t give you an excellent service.
You are better off hiring an experienced contractor. While they will charge a higher fee, they provide you with peace of mind as you know the chimney is correctly repaired, and you don’t have to keep worrying it crumbing.
Cracking of the flue
Modern chimneys have a flue lining made of clay. Due to old age or inadequate maintenance, the flue liners crack or develop gaps. A damaged flue leads to heat loss; hence, you spend a lot of money heating your home. The damaged flue also easily collects creosote, so you have to keep on cleaning the chimney.
If the gaps are significant, carbon monoxide and other harmful gases accumulate in the gaps putting you and your loved ones in danger of inhaling the toxic gases.
With basic home improvement skills, you can fix the problem by yourself, but for perfect results, ask a chimney expert to help you out. Depending on the extent of damage, you may have to seal the gap, but if the damage is extensive, you have to replace the damaged bricks.
When choosing bricks, go for those that match the color of the original chimney.
When the chimney is constructed correctly, adequately maintained, and there isn’t any negative pressure, the smoke from the fireplace should always rise up the chimney. If the chimney always smokes when you light fire, you have a problem you should address as soon as possible.
The chimney smokes due to the use of the wrong firewood. A damaged chimney also tends to keep on smoking. For you to fix the problem, get seasoned wood. In addition to the wood producing little smoke, it also creates a lot of heat, so you easily keep your house warm.
To raise the center of the frame, raise the height of the log grate by placing a brick under the grill. You also should consider investing is a smoke guard that prevents smoke from getting back into the house. When buying the guard, go for a black colored one as it easily hides in the fireplace.
If this doesn’t fix the smoking, raise the chimney stack. You do this by placing a metal pipe on the top of the flue.
Too much creosote in the chimney
Creosote is the tar-like material made up of highly flammable materials. When you have a lot of creosote in the fireplace, it means you don’t clean the chimney as frequently as you should. You also might be burning the wrong wood.
To reduce the creosote, hire a chimney sweep Columbia MD at least once a year to inspect the creosote levels and remove the excess. You also should watch the quality of the wood you are using. For minimal creosote deposition, use wood that has been air-dried for at least six months.
This post first appeared on https://www.firstclasschimneyservices.com