A fireplace can make any home cozier and inviting. There's something extraordinary about a roaring fire in the middle of winter and a mantelpiece covered in family photos. But, of course, with every fireplace comes a chimney. The chimney carries fire smoke safely outside the house. It is also a hollow stone tower that rises through every layer of your home. From the ground floor to the roof, it's no surprise that good chimney care is essential to keeping your home cozy and safe. A drafty chimney can steal your air efficiency, let leaks in through the roof, and eventually, an unmaintained chimney will crumble.
Protect Your Home from Rooftop Leaks
Rain can leak where your chimney emerges from the roof if the connection isn't properly sealed. Usually, this gets done with flashing, a metal sheet that connects to the chimney and the top and acts as a seam-protector against rain and other bad weather. This shields your home from roof leaks that cause water damage. The hat atop your chimney serves a similar purpose, preventing debris from falling into your fireplace or down the flue.
When you schedule a chimney inspection and repair, you can catch loose or damaged flashing that would allow future (maybe current!) rooftop leaks. Prevent leaks and water damage with the occasional chimney inspection service.
Increase Home Air Quality (and Fire Quality)
Chimney inspection usually also comes with a chimney cleaning and direct service for any repairs you may need. Cleaning the chimney and mainly keeping the flue in good repair can improve the air quality of your home by removing old stood from your home's internal air system - and ensuring no soot is escaping into the space between your walls. A clean chimney also provides a cleaner smell and a warmer family experience when lighting the fireplace.
Stop Drafts, Increase Energy Efficiency
Cracked chimneys and flues allow drafts to move through the house. Most importantly, it will let your cool AC or warm heated air out of the house while letting outside air in. This wreaks havoc on your HVAC and your power bill by creating a hole in your energy efficiency. A chimney inspection will spot the source of any drafts and repair them so that your home is once again sealed, cozy, and conserving electricity in an efficient way.
Prevent Potential House Fires
A dirty chimney or a cracked flue can cause potential housefires. If embers escape your chimney, they put the rest of the house at risk, while backflow down the chimney can blow sparks directly into the living room. The best way to ensure your fireplace is safe to use and won't risk a house fire is to have your chimney inspected. This way, you know for sure that the whole fireplace, flue, and chimney system are in good repair and safe to use.
Why You Need Home and Chimney Inspections
Last but not least, it's essential to know that chimneys require a special inspection beyond what typical home inspection services cover. Chimneys are specialized constructions, and underlying chimney problems get frequently ignored during home inspections. So, if you are buying a home with a chimney, ask for a Level 2 chimney inspection.
After that, a Level 1 chimney inspection every year or two will ensure your chimney is ready for warm fires in the fireplace on cold winter nights with the family.