Chimney Issues? Problems That Homeowners Should Have Repaired

A chimney that is properly constructed for safe, efficient operation can add real value to a home and the life of the family who occupies it. In addition to exhausting the fumes and smoke from a wood stove or fireplace, a chimney can be used to vent gas fireplaces and logs, as well as adding to the balanced appearance of the home's structure.

If the chimney is not properly constructed or has suffered damage, it can elevate the risk of a house fire, allow dangerous gases to gather inside the home, and fail to assist in the efficient burning of wood in a heating stove or fireplace. The following information will help homeowners recognize some common repair issues and decide on an appropriate course of action for resolving them:

A small or very short chimney

A chimney that is too short or one that has flue openings that are too small cannot draft air properly. Poor draft can result in difficulties with combustion and reduced heat production. Even more dangerous is the risk that a short or very small chimney may not produce enough draft to pull carbon monoxide and dangerous wood gases from the firebox and the interior of the home.

Most industry experts advise that a chimney should always be constructed so that it extends at least 2 feet in height over the highest point of the roof structure and at least 3 feet above the actual surface of the roof where it is located. The diameter of the flue openings is another important factor in safe, efficient operation, and the actual size opening that is needed will depend upon the size and type of stove or fireplace that it must serve. 

Visible damage to the chimney cap

Lightning, wind, thunder, earthquakes, and damage from falling tree limbs are just a few of the ways in which a chimney cap can be damaged. One very important reason why homeowners should be concerned about cap damage is that it can be a sign of deeper damage within the flue, such as cracked tiles.

Since deep cracking could cause exposure to heat and allow combustible building materials around the flue to ignite, cap damage to the chimney must always be carefully examined to determine the extent. 

Homeowners who have problems with efficiency or those that notice damage to any part of their home's chimney should immediately stop using the chimney and contact a reputable chimney repair service for an inspection and advice on addressing repair issues. For more information, you can contact companies like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service.