Preventing and correcting chimney leaks are possible when routine inspections are scheduled. Everything in and around your home needs to be maintained properly to avoid potential disasters. Your chimney and fireplace are no exception. Having your chimney and fireplace routinely inspected and cleaned will ensure the system is functioning properly and the safety of your family and home. Fire safety and air quality should be at the top of your list.
How often should I get my chimney inspected?
Your chimney and fireplace should be inspected by a certified chimney professional at least once a year or after one cord of wood has been burned. If you just moved into a new home, this is something you should consider as the chimney may have not been looked at by the previous owners. In any case, it is always better to be safe than sorry – especially when it comes to chimneys, fireplaces and fire prevention in your home.
Who should I call?
You want to make sure the company you are reaching out to has Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) Certified Technicians on their team. This is the highest credential a chimney technician can acquire and means you will be getting the highest-level of professional service.
To learn more about the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) click here.
What is the CSIA Certified chimney sweep looking for in the inspection?
When you hire a certified chimney professional, they will inspect and clean your chimney. An inspection is included with every sweep job. The chimney professional must determine that the system is not blocked and is capable of continued use. They are also expected to determine the overall cleanliness of the venting system. This will require opening the damper and using a light, looking up the chimney and into the flue. If the chimney is dirty, it will require sweeping. This level of inspection applies to all readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior and accessible portions of the appliance and chimney connection.
How do leaks form in a chimney?
Over time, outdoor elements such as extreme hot and cold weather, wind and precipitation can wear away at the external portions of the chimney. This exposure can cause brick or masonry to crack, spall and fall apart. Once the chimney structure starts to deteriorate, it allows water to penetrate causing further damage and leaks.
How can I tell if my chimney has a leak?
It may take some time to show signs of a leak when it comes to your chimney. There are signs but having a regularly scheduled chimney inspection and cleaning will help to identify and correct problems before they become a serious chimney leak. You will have water either on the ceiling next to the chimney/fireplace and water leaking into the fireplace itself. Water stains are a telltale sign that your chimney is leaking.
Some signs that may indicate your chimney is leaking:
- Water or condensation inside the chimney
- Sound of dripping water in the chimney.
- Moisture, leaks, or water staining on walls or ceilings around chimney.
- Musty or dank odors, especially after it rains.
- Cracked or spalled interior or exterior masonry.
Any water infiltration in your home can cause serious damage and even mold if not corrected immediately.
How is a chimney leak repaired?
First, the chimney professional will inspect and evaluate the chimney system. This normally includes scoping the system with a camera to see the interior of the flue, then an inspection of the entire system, including the roof.
Our technicians are trained to find the common areas that pose most risk of leaking, they will determine the condition of each area, then discuss with you their findings and offer professional solutions.
Apex will do the necessary repairs and will have to wait for a couple of rainy days to ensure the repairs have properly fixed the area in question.
What could happen if the chimney is not regularly inspected?
If your chimney is not regularly inspected and properly maintained, it could become a dangerous fire hazard in your home. Most of the repairs are needed due to water damage. Water damage takes time to erode. So, if regular inspections are conducted, this can be avoided.
Taking the proper care in maintaining your chimney is an investment in your home. It is more cost-effective and safer to properly maintain rather than undergoing an emergency repair.
For more information on Apex’s chimney services click here.
If you would like to schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning, please give us a call today: 732-314-7171