Why to Consider Winter Weather (and the Lack Thereof)
While we didn’t experience quite the blizzardy winter we’re used to here in the DMV, the exterior of your chimney can still suffer detrimental deterioration at the hands of rain, snow and ice. When melted ice and moisture penetrates the brick, concrete, mortar or other materials associated with the chimney, the water can refreeze and expand. This puts an immense amount of pressure on the materials and can result in cracks, breakage and further damage. Moisture within your chimney materials can also make it a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Fires, Smoke Damage and the “Silent Killer”
Ensuring that your chimney is clean and flue is functioning properly in between seasons is critical in terms of minimizing the risk of chimney fires and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. A dirty chimney results in the buildup of creosote, a tar-like substance, that leaves a highly combustible glaze inside your chimney that can set ablaze at any moment and destroy your home and put the lives of you and your family in danger.
Chimneys with blockage can also result in a buildup of toxic CO, also known as “the silent killer.” This dangerous and deadly gas is tasteless, odorless, and contributes to approximately 500 accidental deaths in the U.S. annually.
Without regular chimney maintenance, soot will accumulate around the flue and hinder its ability to draw the smoke upwards. This can cause smoke and soot to enter the rooms of your home, resulting in:
- A black film around your hearth
- Soot-damaged/smoke-soiled furniture, carpeting, walls, ceilings, etc.
- Stubborn black stains around your chimney