Fire is a dangerous element, and even if your chimney and fireplace system seems to be working safely with no obvious or visible problems, you could still be in danger of fire hazards from issues that are hidden inside the chimney.
This is why it is so important to have your chimney professionally swept and inspected at least once a year by a professional chimney company like Ashbusters. We are proud to offer professional chimney maintenance services from our technicians who have been trained and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) on how to properly and thoroughly inspect chimneys. Unfortunately, not every chimney inspection finds hazardous problems, and this is why it is crucial to only hire a chimney inspector who has been certified by the CSIA. We would like to tell you about some of the most common overlooked chimney problems and the hazards they could cause.
Clearance to combustibles
If your fireplace does not have the proper clearances, you are at a very high risk of a devastating house fire. The extremely hot temperatures produced by fires can spread to the combustible parts of your home, such as the wooden frame. According to Chimneys.com, the clearances around the chimney chase, above and to the sides of the fireplace opening, the hearth, and below and behind a freestanding wood stove should all be checked during a chimney inspection. You can count on Ashbusters to thoroughly check these areas as well as to see if there is a gap between the facial wall and the fireplace.
Many homeowners do not realize that modern building codes and standards have set guidelines for chimney height. Chimneys must be at least three feet above the roof where it exits and two feet higher than any part of the roof within ten feet. This height rule exists to ensure chimneys will draft properly. We will always check to be sure your chimney meets these height requirements. Ensuring your chimney drafts correctly is another part of our chimney inspection process.
The fireplace itself
Not only do we take a close look at your chimney, but we also will make sure your fireplace and its components are in good condition. We will look at the size of the grate because an improperly sized grate can cause you to overload the fireplace, which can lead to a house fire. We will look to see if you have a spark screen installed, and if you do not, we can help you by installing one of these in front of your fireplace to bring you up to safety codes. We will also check to see if you have the right type of fireplace doors installed because the wrong set of doors can possibly block vents and lead to the overheating of your appliance.
National fire safety organizations like the CSIA and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend you have your chimney professionally inspected before you light the first fire of the year. Contact us at Ashbusters to schedule an appointment today for your professional chimney inspection from certified technicians you can trust.