What Happens if You Don’t Clean Your Chimney?
Many folks in Sylvania, WI, Gurnee, IL, and surrounding towns in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois depend on fireplaces, stoves, water heaters, and other solid or fossil fuel appliances for heat. It’s common for homes to have more than one heating appliance connected to a single chimney with multiple flues. Whether you have a wood-burning fireplace, stove, or all gas-heating appliances, a lot can go wrong if you go too long without cleaning your chimney.
Chimney Fire Prevention
Fire prevention is the primary reason to clean your chimney. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics reveal that the primary cause of house fires is failure to properly clean the chimney and vents.
Therefore, removing combustible materials in the flue is essential, like flammable creosote, leaves, twigs, and debris that could spark a chimney fire.
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), most chimney fires are small and go undetected by the homeowner. Even though the temperature wasn’t high enough to spread to other areas of your home, it may not be the case the next time.
Even a small chimney fire can cause flue tiles to splinter or burst, weakening the liner and interior masonry. Thus, it increases the risk of another chimney fire that could damage your home or injure those inside.
Carbon Monoxide Gas Could Leak Inside Your Living Space
Can a dirty chimney make you sick? Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless, poisonous gas that could leak inside your living space if you go too long without cleaning your chimney. Masonry damage, missing bricks, gaps in the mortar joints, flue obstruction, and incomplete combustion are some reasons you may be breathing in toxic fumes without realizing it. Some signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, and confusion. Carbon monoxide gas will absorb the oxygen in your living space leading to unconsciousness and even death without sufficient ventilation. So, in addition to installing a carbon monoxide (CO) detector on every level of your home, getting a professional chimney cleaning and inspection is a lifesaver.
The Flue Could Be Partially or Completely Blocked
The flue is a pipe or duct that provides a safe passageway for expelling smoke, carbon monoxide, and other harmful contaminants that will exit your home through the top of your chimney. There may also be several feet of connector pipe with elbow connectors that attach your fireplace, insert, furnace, and other heating appliances to the chimney. Although small birds, wildlife, and debris entering a chimney from a missing or damaged cap commonly cause flue blockage, an obstruction can occur anywhere in the venting system. With nowhere else to go, a flue obstruction can reverse the draft forcing harmful contaminants into your living space without periodic chimney cleaning and inspection from the pros at Burlington Fireplace.
Here’s what else can happen without annual chimney cleaning:
- You will breathe lower-quality indoor air.
- Corrosive Combustion Residue May Damage the Masonry.
- Your chimney liner will need more frequent repair or relining.
- It reduces the performance of attached heating appliances.
Professional Chimney Cleaning
If it has been 12 months or more since your last visit, it has been too long to go without cleaning your chimney. Please call Burlington Fireplace at 262-763-3522 today to schedule a professional chimney cleaning and inspection. Or contact us online to schedule a visit. We serve customers in communities throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.