Homeowners who have fireplaces love sitting in front of them on those cold, wintry nights. However, before enjoying the benefits of a fireplace, they need to make sure it is safe to use. Early fall is the perfect time to schedule chimney inspection. Doing so can prevent such things as carbon monoxide poisoning and fires.
When You Should Have Your Fireplace Inspected:
- New Home Owners – if you are just moving into your home, it is a good idea to have the fireplace inspected. It is far too risky to take the previous homeowners word that the chimney has been inspected. Have it done yourself just to be sure.
- Summer – as mentioned above, this is the ideal time for an inspection. The chimney will get regular usage and it needs to be cleaned before it is fired up again. The usage from the previous season could have created creosote buildup as well as debris accumulating in the chimney over the course of the spring and summer. In addition, there is the danger of animals nesting in the chimney while it was not in use.
- Buildup – this is a sure sign the chimney needs to be cleaned. Excessive usage will create a creosote buildup. Experts say that as little as one eighth of an inch is enough to cause a house fire.
- Gas Fireplaces – some individuals are under the impression that since they are using a gas fireplace that they need not worry about having their chimney cleaned, but that is far from the truth. There is still the danger of obstructions in the chimney that could cause a fire hazard.
- Improper Heating – when a homeowner notices their home is not being properly warmed by the fireplace, this is a warning sign that something could be wrong. Smoke return or odd smells could mean there is a buildup or blockage in the chimney. If this is the case, do not use it at all until it has been inspected and cleaned by an expert.