Having a fireplace is such an asset, especially during New Jersey winters when temperatures outside get down to the teens and twenties. It may be cold outside, but when there’s a fire going in the fireplace, your house gets warmed up and you and your loved ones can snuggle up together on the living room couch, mesmerized by the intense beauty of a crackling fire.
When’s the last time you had your chimney inspected? If you ask most people this question they’ll give you a blank stare followed by a muffled “I dunno.”
Chimneys often get neglected over the years, but they shouldn’t be forgotten. In fact, you should consider making an annual chimney inspection part of your home’s yearly maintenance schedule.
One thing’s for sure: you don’t want to play with fire because you know how that goes: you get burned. In the case of chimneys that never get checked, there are several bad things that could happen, including terrible house fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and big bills for big repairs needed because the chimney never got checked “all those years.” Let’s take a look at each worst-case scenario individually.
House Fires Caused By Chimney Malfunctions
Of the three worst case scenarios, a house fire has got to be the scariest. Something like a cracked flue lining could ultimately lead to flames spreading to places you don’t want them to go. What started out as a nice little fire in the fireplace can turn into a raging inferno as the local fire department fights like hell to put your house out with copious amounts of water. Psychologically, it’s very hard to ever be the same after experiencing a house fire and its aftermath. Don’t be the person who has no home to go back to, shivering in the cold, teeth chattering, thinking, “If only I had gotten the chimney checked.” It’s best to schedule a chimney inspection in the summer or fall, before the return of cold weather, so repairs can be made if needed.
How Chimney Failure Can Poison Your Home With Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless, so it’s one of those things that could sneak up on you and kill you without you ever having a clue. Do you have a carbon dioxide alarm somewhere in the vicinity of your fireplace? If not, you need to get one immediately. If and when carbon monoxide is detected, the alarm will sound and you’ll need to get out of the house immediately in order to breathe air that’s good for you. Another reason for an annual chimney inspection is to have an expert look for any potential problems “up there” that could lead to your house filling with carbon monoxide. All it takes is a blocked chimney, a broken chimney connector pipe, or a rusted heat exchanger to put you and your family in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Chimneys in Poor Condition Can Cause Homeowners Major Headaches
Finally, the last reason to consider making an annual chimney inspection the norm is this: just like other parts of the house, things wear out over time. They get damaged. They need repairs. The sooner you catch a problem, the less it’ll cost you to fix it. For instance, if your chimney flashing fails, all sorts of moisture can get in, causing water damage, not to mention the development of nasty mold and mildew. It’s better to have someone professional inspect your chimney on a yearly basis than to wait a really long time only to discover there are all sorts of problems requiring all sorts of money.
Cornerstone Home Inspections of Warren, New Jersey, can provide you with the peace-of-mind that your chimney and fireplace are in good working order and not likely to harm you and the ones you love. It’s better to be aware of any potential problems than to be caught off guard and suffer the consequences. To schedule a chimney inspection, please call 800-648-6187 or email email@example.com today.