Christmas is just a few months away, but Santa won’t be visiting you if you don’t sweep your chimney clean. The same rule applies to any chimney blockages. Lucky for you, chimney cleaning doesn’t have to be very difficult. If you don’t know where to begin, a professional chimney cleaning service should be able to help you out.
The chimney is an extension of your fireplace that is important to its effective functioning. Fireplaces are not just beautiful, but they play an essential role in keeping your house warm. A great way to enjoy your fireplace year after year is to ensure that the whole unit (fireplace and chimney) abides by proper safety standards.
Chimney fires make up a good chunk of annual household fire incidents. Fireplaces and chimneys that are not maintained contain harmful fire byproducts that damage the masonry and functioning of the unit. Routine chimney cleaning can help homeowners take preventive measures and protect themselves and their loved ones.
This post will talk about the hazards a blocked chimney and an unclean fireplace carry and some tips to take care of them routinely.
How Unkempt Chimneys And Fireplaces Are Health Hazardous
Before we jump right into health problems caused by fireplace byproducts, let’s look at a few toxins produced by them.
Burning wood produces a dark substance called creosote that is deposited along the chimney liner. Creosote is flammable and also damages the structure of the chimney, making leaks more frequent. Creosote production is not so much the problem as is its residue in your chimney.
2. Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of incomplete combustion in the fireplace. A dirty or blocked chimney can send those fumes right back into the fireplace and your house. It is an odorless, colorless gas that goes unnoticed as it is hard to detect.
Soot is a black substance also produced in the fireplace. It can stain and weaken your chimney, causing the fireplace to function ineffectively. Soot is difficult to clean if left untreated over long periods. Heat and soot accumulated over long periods can cause your chimney to crumble.
A maintained chimney can exhaust fire byproducts out of the house and save you and your family from the following health hazards:
1. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide causes fatigue, nausea, or headaches upon inhalation. Long-term exposure can also cause serious issues like brain damage and cardiac problems.
2. Respiratory Problems
Inhaling soot over long periods can cause lung irritation that can lead to serious lung damage. It is also known to cause respiratory infections after excessive exposure.
3. Skin or Eye Irritation
Creosote buildup can irritate the vital organs in your body. It also increases the risk of kidney or liver damage, even causing seizures and confusion in some people.
It is possible to avoid serious health problems created by wood-burning toxins with prompt chimney cleaning sessions. Below are a few tips to protect yourself and your family.
Fireplace And Chimney Safety Tips
1. Burn Seasoned Wood
Seasoned wood has much less moisture compared to unseasoned logs for fireplaces. In the presence of excess moisture, incomplete combustion creates more harmful toxins. Seasoned wood is a much safer option for your household.
2. Avoid Fire Accelerants
Don’t throw smaller pieces of wood or newspaper to start a fire. Give your fire sufficient time to burn and avoid fire fuels like lighter fluid, gasoline, or charcoal starter fluid in your fireplace.
3. Place Logs Correctly
Allow a piece of log to burn thoroughly before tossing another one into the fireplace. Fires that burn without sufficient oxygen produce more smoke and don’t burn the logs thoroughly.
4. Invest In A Chimney Cap
A chimney cap keeps debris out of the chimney to avoid blockages. A blocked chimney can cause a chimney fire as the fire smoke will have no way to escape the fireplace.
Your fireplace and chimney need thorough care and maintenance to function effectively. just like any other part of your house, fireplace and chimney cleaning is necessary to keep your family and loved ones safe from its harmful effects.
Get The Experts On Board!
Creative Masonry and Chimney places client safety and security above everything else. We provide expert chimney and fireplace services in Central Connecticut with a team of experts with many years of experience. Our services include chimney and fireplace repairs and cleaning for our clients in the area.