To ensure safety and efficiency of your fireplace, you need to undertake chimney inspection. It’s recommended that you hire a chimney contractor to inspect the chimney, but if you have the right tools and basic skills, you can go ahead and inspect the chimney on your own. Here are the areas of the chimney that you should inspect:
Look inside the firebox lining and identify cracks, gaps and signs of wear. To see signs of deterioration brush both the sides and bottom of the firebox with a stiff chimney brush.
If the lining is in bad condition, hire a chimney professional to fix it. Fixing the faulty areas ensures that the chimney doesn’t build up a lot of heat that can damage your chimney.
You should also inspect the creosote levels. If creosote is more than 3 mm, ask a chimney sweep to clean it.
Take a look at the damper door and ensure that it opens and closes smoothly. Also ensure that the damper fits securely in the brackets. Wear protective clothing and safety glasses to protect yourself from creosote and ash buildup that might drop in your eyes. After inspecting the damper leave it in closed position.
Take a look at the grate and ensure that it’s the correct size. A small grate means that the heat produced may not heat your house the right way. A larger grate is even worse. A large grate takes more wood resulting to large flames that can overheat your fireplace.
As a novice, it’s hard to know whether your grate is of the right size. You should hire a fireplace technician to measure your grate. If the grate is too large, hire a chimney company to replace it with a smaller one.
The flashing prevents water from leaking into your house. You should put a lot of emphasis on the condition of your flashing especially if your house is old. The flashing may start leaking due to old age, corrosion and collection of debris.
If your chimney is leaking, ensure that you know the cause of the leakage. If the leakage is due to corrosion, remove the corroded material. If the flashing is old, hire a chimney masonry professional to remove the old one and replace with a new one.
You should inspect all parts of the chimney to have peace of mind that your chimney is safe. In case of any problem, hire a chimney repair professional to fix them.