The chimney represents architectural addition to the home, but its actual function is to carry out gases from the fireplace or woodstove. Chimney fires are a serious problem, can still occur even with careful measures. That is why annual chimney repair and cleanings are critical for home maintenance. Therefore, people look for professional guidance for the maintenance of their chimneys.
Causes of Chimney Fires
The leading cause of a chimney fire is creosote. It builds up due to a restricted air supply, cool chimney temperatures, and unseasoned wood. In the presence of high flue temperature, the result could be chimney fires. Also, chimney fires happen due to precipitates of carbon and dust in the chimney. Structural or liner problems can allow high temperatures and sparks to escape to combustible areas in walls or roofs. These are the main reasons behind chimney fires.
How to Identify a Chimney Fire?
There are some ways to identify chimney fires so you can avoid the dangers of it and take precautionary measures.
Types of Chimney Fires
There are two types of chimney fires and both cause damage to your chimney and home. The free burning produce sounds like a freight train. Often, flames or smoke may lap out of the chimney top. The slow-burning is not less dangerous. You may not even know it has happened. These undetected fires burn slowly and at high temperatures can cause structural damage and can catch flammable parts of your home.
Ways to Prevent Chimney Fires
- Only burn seasoned or dried out wood. It takes about six months to be ready.
- Excite fires with clean newspaper. Kerosene should never be used.
- Never burn wrapping paper or cardboard boxes.
- Get regular chimney inspections and cleaning.
Signs that Indicate Chimney Fires
- Chimney has some indicative signs to prevent the later harm from a chimney fire. So, look for the following indicative signs to prevent dangerous chimney fires.
- Puffy creosote was found on the roof.
- If there is some puffy creosote on the roof of the chimney, then it is indicating the dangerous chimney fires.
- Warped metal of the damper.
- Wrapped metal fires can also help in indicating the chimney fires.
- Cracked flue tiles.
- If the tiles of your chimney are cracked.
- Distorted or discolored cap.
The roofing material that has been damaged from hot creosote is also used to indicate the chimney fire dangers. Fissures in exterior masonry and evidence of smoke escaping through tile liner or mortar joints of masonry are also indicators of dangerous situations.
How Dangerous are Chimney Fires?
The kind of chimney and the power of the fire determine how dangerous fires can get.
A chimney fire can cause damage to the structure. The walls and the tile may crack. A chimney fire can get up to 2000F. The first fire does some damage to the structure. If the problem is not solved, the second fire makes nearby flammable materials go up into flames. The heat is hot enough that the roof or the wood around can catch fire.
Factory-built, metal chimneys can withstand high temperatures. But they are not resistant to damage from chimney fires. The metal liner can collapse at high temperatures. If this happens, the liner must be completely replaced. The chimney fire can destroy homes and injure or kill people.
Firstly, get everyone out and call the fire department. Next, cut off the air supply to the chimney by closing the damper. Also, spray water on the roof to prevent the roof from catching on fire. The fire will happen again if measures aren’t taken, so call a chimney professional to determine the cause and fix it.
Take precautions now to make sure you have a clean, safe chimney. If a problem is noticed early, it will be easier and cheaper to repair.
Make an appointment today to get the best chimney cleaning and maintenance services to keep your home and family safe.