|1. Assess the integrity of the chimney cover, crown, flashing, brick, and mortar. A chimney’s exterior is the most vulnerable to the elements. Wind, rain, and snow all take their toll, resulting in damage and deterioration if not inspected regularly.
2. Check for animal nests. Birds and small animals love to create their homes within the cozy walls of a chimney.
3. Prevent roof fires by letting a professional evaluate the safety of the chimney structure.
4. Check for signs of moisture that might signal unseen damage to the liner.
5. Locate any cracks in the flue lining that would allow water to seep into the chimney, damaging the interior and causing a wet, damp smell.
6. Inspect for loose bricks and other interior damage that might allow harmful gases to seep into the home.
7. Check for and clear away any obstructions.
8. Locate and correct any smells that may have developed from last year’s ash or water leakage.
9. Avoid smoke damage in the home, which can occur when smoke is unable to escape through the chimney.
10. Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, which can occur when harmful gases aren’t able to escape through the chimney.
11. Inspect for creosote buildup. Creosote is a highly flammable material that builds up inside the chimney flue, essentially glazing the walls. Creosote deposits are the leading cause of fires from wood-burning fireplaces or wood stoves.
12. Clear out dirt buildup that blocks the flue and prevents it from moving smoke and gases effectively.
13. If the fireplace has a blower, an inspector can determine whether or not it needs a cleaning. Blowers don’t have their own filtering system, so dust and hair build up over time, shortening the life of the blower and creating a fire hazard.
14. Assess the integrity of the fireplace exterior.
15. Stay on top of repairs. A yearly chimney inspection locates any problem areas, giving you the opportunity to take care of any necessary repairs before the winter months hit.
16. Should the fireplace have glass doors, these also benefit from a thorough inspection. Gasket material around the door openings should be replaced if defective.
17. Enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your chimney and fireplace was thoroughly inspected by a professional and is safe to use throughout the winter!