Anyone who has recently bought a home has a million things to worry about, especially if a remodel is involved. Chimneys are often overlooked, out of sight and out of mind until the first fire is lit. Then the only real concern is whether or not the chimney is pushing the smoke out, and only if it is not, does a homeowner give it a second thought.
Chimneys, however, are where house fires are likely to start, so bringing them into good condition is of paramount importance. The first step towards that end is a thorough inspection by a certified chimney professional. He will check them inside and out, spotting creosote accumulation, cracked mortar joints, missing chimney caps, and damp fireplaces. A dozen other things could lead to bigger problems down the line if they are not caught now.
Just as you would not buy a house without having it checked out by a licensed inspector, you should not light a fire in your fireplace without a professional inspection of the chimney. While you may be able to spot a missing chimney cap by yourself, finding holes in the mortar halfway up the chimney is another matter. Unless you have the highly specialized equipment needed for the tasks involved in a proper inspection, call a professional.
Cleaning chimneys is no simple task, either, with at best an assortment of powdery soot, tar-like wax and crunchy rock that has to be removed. There is highly flammable creosote found in every chimney, in varying stages depending on the amount of time that it has gone unchecked. These are fuel for a chimney fire which all too easily spreads to the surrounding frame of the house and can be catastrophic.
Chimney professionals are trained not only to identify existing problems but to correct them, from sweeping debris out of chimneys to increasing the height of the chimney itself. From cracked chimney crowns to seepage under flashing, chimney sweeps properly repair common defects in chimneys every day. They know what the moss means, they know what to do about the chimney spalling, and they know how to improve the draw of your chimney. Call them in and get an important job done right as part of any new homeowner’s due diligence.