You should undertake chimney inspection at least annually to prevent potential fire damage and other issues that might endanger your house and life. To help you out, here are some of the areas that you should inspect:
This is the open space that contains the actual fire and it’s the first place that you should begin your inspection. There are some fireboxes that are lined with firebrick while others are lined with metal that resembles masonry bricks.
You should closely inspect the firebox for cracks. You should also inspect it for brick or mortar that might have fallen or got loose.
It’s the inside of the chimney and you should check it for blockage by any foreign object or a thick build-up of creosote. You should note that birds, mice and squirrels like building nests in them; therefore, you should closely inspect the flue and ensure that there is no blockage. Remember that even a small chimney blockage can prevent air flow thus increasing smoke danger.
It’s the long vertical pipe usually attached to the chimney and rises up above the roof. You should inspect the stovepipe and ensure that it doesn’t enter the flue at a downward angle. If it enters the flue at an awkward angle you should adjust it so that it enters at an upward angle.
Soot has the potential of blocking air flow; therefore, you should get rid of it. You should scrape the soot using a round brush attached to a long pole. You can also clear it by lowering a bag of rough burlap (full of gravel) into the flue.
There are a number of factors that can increase the volume of carbon monoxide in the chimney. One of the factors is downdraft. The buildup can also come up when the chimney is plugged up.
Carbon monoxide is very dangerous; therefore, you should be very cautious and ensure that there is no buildup. To inspect it you only need to use a carbon monoxide detector.
To ensure that no smoke gets back into the house you should inspect the top of the flue and ensure that the cross-sectional size is similar to that inside of the flue. If the top opening is smaller, you should consider hiring a chimney repair professional to enlarge it.