Bad things that can happen with a malfunctioning fireplace — the worst being a chimney fire that can spread to the roof structure, causing major damage.
Here’s a list of things a good chimney sweep will inspect:
- They should check that there is a cap with a screen on the
chimney to prevent rain or snow
from coming down the chimney and to prevent birds or other critters from nesting there.
- He or she will look at the condition of the bricks and mortar. It’s possible the bricks exposed to the weather need to be reset or the mortar needs repointing. (A mason will need to handle this repair.)
- The sweep will check out the flue liner and note excessive creosote buildup or cracked flue tiles. If the chimney hasn’t been swept recently, he or she will recommend that it be cleaned before starting your first fire of the season. The leading cause of fires from wood-burning fireplaces is partially burned fuel (creosote) deposited on the walls of the chimney flue.
- If the fireplace has glass doors, the sweep should inspect the gasket material around the door opening. Defective gaskets should be replaced to ensure proper operation of the fireplace. This is especially important if you have an insert, which is meant to be airtight. If an airtight fireplace is operated without these gaskets effectively sealing the openings, excess air can leak into the firebox creating an over fire condition, which may permanently damage the fireplace.
- If your fireplace is equipped with a blower, the sweep should service it. These blowers do not have a filtering system to prevent the buildup of dust and hair on the blower. Excessive dirt will shorten the life of the blower and may be a fire hazard.
- The inspection may reveal broken or deteriorated brick lining in the firebox. Replacement of the damaged bricks may or may not be necessary depending on the severity. (A mason will need to handle any repairs to the brick lining.)
When the fireplace inspection is done and the chimney is swept, there is one final task for you to perform. Test any smoke or carbon monoxide detectors you have in your home to ensure that they are operating properly.
Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. is a true custom home builder specializing in luxury new home construction. We have been building homes in the Michiana area since 1965. Since that time, we have never built the same home twice. We serve an area within a 50 mile radius of our company’s rural Goshen, Indiana location. We build mid to large custom homes and estates with intense focus on quality of construction, craftsmanship and materials.
Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. offers dedicated project management on your site to ensure quality, as well as personalized attention to your input, questions and satisfaction. As a client you will be kept informed from beginning to end with clear, scheduled construction meetings and financial reports.
Your project reflects the shared vision of you and your architect. Martin Bros. Contracting, Inc. will help you realize your vision with clear communication between you, your architects and designers, and the Martin Brothers team of construction professionals. We look forward to building your new home!