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The Top 5 Chimney Problems You Should Be Aware Of.


A fireplace can get the chill out of the air on a cold winter day and quite simply enhance a home’s atmosphere. However, that aesthetically pleasing fireplace requires a properly functioning chimney to avoid unpleasant incidents like a fire or smoke-filled room. Here, we’ll discuss the 5 most common chimney problems.

Chimney Blockages

There are several forms of chimney obstructions. One of the most common is a buildup of debris or nests. This type of blockage occurs frequently in chimneys that haven’t been used for an extended period of time. Another culprit may be deteriorating bricks or masonry due to neglect, water exposure, or lack of use.

Creosote and Soot Buildup

Another type of chimney blockage is the buildup of creosote and soot. As firewood burns and smoke rises up through the chimney, it also releases particles of soot and tar, which build up along the inner lining of the chimney. Creosote is one of the main causes of house fires. The more it accumulates in a chimney, the higher risk of flammability and the decrease of airflow. Additionally, if ventilation and airflow are compromised too much, dangerous carbon monoxide fumes will linger inside your home.

Cracked Chimney Lining

Chimneys are constructed with a fire-resistant lining, usually made of clay tile or stainless steel. These linings are designed to withstand extreme temperatures and generally last several years. However, it is possible for cracks to form in the lining and when this occurs, there’s an increased risk of fire or exposure to dangerous fumes.

Structural Problems

For the most part, the bricks and mortar used to build a chimney will last for close to 100 years. However, overexposure to moisture, lots of temperature fluctuations, or settling can result in cracks and deterioration. Anytime structural integrity is compromised there’s an increased risk for problems. Depending on the amount of damage, sometimes spot repairs can resolve the issue.

Lack of Protection Against Outdoor Elements

In order for the smoke to flow up and out of the chimney, the exterior opening must be clear of blockages or damage. This opening is referred to as the chimney crown and should always be covered with a chimney cap or chase cover. These covers help prevent rodents and birds from entering the chimney flue and building nests and also keep leaves and other types of debris from falling into the chimney. However, like all other parts of the chimney, this area is prone to damage caused by moisture, heavy winds, fallen tree limbs, and so on.

Finally, if you have a fireplace, undoubtedly you want to ensure it is safe and enjoyable. Don’t rely on a DIY assessment of your chimney or worse dismiss the possible chimney problems that may be lingering and undetectable to the naked eye. Contact the experts at Albany Chimney Inspections today to schedule your annual chimney inspection.

Adam C Clark

Owner & Operator,

Shield Guard Home Inspections LLC

45 Parkwood St Albany NY, 12208

Cell: 518-649-9111

NYS LICENSE #16000091657

NYS MOLD # 0321


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