The holiday season is upon us! The vibrant hues of autumn leaves, a refreshing chill in the air, that constant wondering of when the first snowfall will arrive… What better time is there to gather your loved ones, snuggle up with cozy blankets, and unwind by the fireplace?
…but hold on just a moment. Do you know for sure that your fireplace and chimney are safe for use? How can you know whether your system is good to go?
Schedule Your Chimney Inspection
If you’re hoping to use your fireplace with peace of mind this season, scheduling a professional chimney inspection before lighting up that first fire is a must.
Without this precaution, you might find yourself in a situation even more alarming than finding a lump of coal in your stocking. After all, without the expert eye of a professional, how can you be certain that your system is secure and able to operate safely? You can’t – thus, increasing your risk of chimney fires, carbon monoxide exposure, smoke in the home, and more.
What Does a Chimney Inspection Consist Of?
Our basic level 1 chimney inspection will consist of the following:
- an overview of all readily accessible portions of the chimney and fireplace
- an assessment of the firebox, smoke chamber, damper, crown, chimney cap, and flue liner
- an assessment of the masonry’s condition and durability
- a check for any obvious signs of damage, chimney leaks, or buildup
- a report on what we found and any repair recommendations
Now, there are times where a level 2 inspection is warranted. If you’ve experienced a major weather event or natural disaster, recently moved house, or have made any major changes to your appliance, we’ll recommend booking a level 2 overview with our crew. This will consist of everything in a level 1 inspection, plus a video inspection and a look at portions of your chimney in your attic, basement, and/or crawl space.
And then there’s a level 3 inspection. Although rare, these are sometimes needed when a level 2 overview hasn’t uncovered necessary information involving damage or inefficiencies. During a level 3 inspection, we may need to remove parts of the chimney or the surrounding wall.
Why Are Chimney Inspections Important?
Chimney inspections serve as a crucial tool for identifying issues within your chimney system, as well as signaling the need for maintenance or repairs. They help in determining when chimney cleaning is necessary, recognizing the need for replacement components, addressing issues in the firebox or smoke chamber, identifying moisture problems, pinpointing the causes behind smoke or odors, and more.
In addition, annual chimney inspections allow us to spot minor, possibly hidden, issues before they turn into bigger – and, frankly, expensive to address – problems.
If it’s been over a year since your last chimney inspection, contact the crew here at The Chimney Doctor at 901-388-8097 or schedule an appointment online for professional assistance. We’re here to ensure the safety and longevity of your fireplace year after year.
How Can I Operate My Fireplace Safely?
Look for some fireplace safety tips? We’ve got you covered.
- Before using the fireplace each burn season, have it inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney technician.
- Clear the area around the fireplace of any flammable materials, such as curtains, furniture, or paper.
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace, use only well-seasoned wood as fuel – no garbage, cardboard, or wet or treated wood.
- Ensure that the damper is open before starting a fire to allow proper ventilation.
- Avoid overloading the fireplace with too much wood.
- Consider using a fireplace screen or installing glass doors to prevent sparks and embers from escaping.
- Never leave a fire unattended. Ensure someone is present in the room when the fireplace is in use.
- Use a fireplace tool set to manage the fire safely.
- Use a metal container with a tight-fitting lid to dispose of ashes – and place it away from the house.
- Periodically check for cracks, loose bricks, or other signs of wear and tear in the fireplace and chimney.
- Ensure that everyone in the household understands the importance of fireplace safety and the potential risks associated with improper use.
- Always keep an ABC fire extinguisher in an accessible location.
- Invest in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and regularly check the batteries and replace them, as needed.
Ready for Quality Service? Book With Us
If you’re ready to experience the warmth and coziness of a fireplace fire this holiday season, don’t wait to book your necessary chimney and fireplace services with our crew today. Whether you need an inspection, a thorough sweeping, some type of masonry repair, a new chimney cap or damper installed, or something else, we’ve got your back.
Let’s get started. Reach out now – we’re happy to help you out!