You think of your chimney as an opening that just allows smoke and fumes from a fire out of your home, but it is much more than that. Chimneys must be built correctly and maintained to work properly; one that is too short will not draft and fill your home with smoke, poor roof design and flashing cause leaks, and fireplaces cause fire hazards for many different reasons. Here are the top 3 danger areas that you should be aware of for the fireplace in your home:
1. Smoke Filling Your Home Due to Short Chimney and Poor Fireplace Designs
Chimneys must draft the fumes and smoke out of the fireplace, but if it is not tall enough, smoke will quickly fill your home. To correct the problem of a chimney that does not draft, the chimney can be updated to be taller. The formula for the top of the chimney is that it has to be 10-feet away from the roof and 2-feet higher.
2. Water Getting in The Fireplace from Chimney Leaks and Causing Damage and Smoke Hazards
Water is another hazard that you will have to be on the lookout for with your chimney. When moisture gets in areas around the chimney, it can cause serious damage and lead to mold problems. Water that gets inside the chimney can cause problems with smoke and hazardous fumes getting in your home when you use the fireplace.
3. Fire Hazards of Fireplace Openings and Dirty Chimneys That Need to Be Cleaned
The risk of fire can be in the chimney, as well as due to things like lack of screens or poorly designed fireplace openings. To reduce the risk of a fire, you want to make sure you have a chimney sweep clean all the soot out regularly. In addition, use hardwoods like oak and stay away from pine and other firewood that has high levels of sap or resin. If you have a gas fireplace, use it according to the manufacturers specifications and have it inspected regularly. Gas inserts are not meant to have firewood and you should not use firewood in these types of fireplaces.
These are some of the main chimney hazards that can put you and your family at risk. If you are worried about the state of the fireplace and chimney in your home, contact an inspection service to evaluate problems and the solutions to correct them.