Chimney fires pose a serious and dangerous risk to all those who regularly use their fireplace. A fire can start in your chimney without you even realizing it. Flames and smoke can shoot out of your chimney and fireplace, causing severe damage to your home. Chimney fires are usually the result of excess creosote that has built up over time, but many other factors can cause a chimney fire. Here are some common causes of chimney fires to look out for.
Lack of Chimney Maintenance
Chimneys and flues must be clean and properly maintained regularly. Always be sure to have your chimney and fireplace inspected and cleaned by a qualified professional before each seasonal usage. Chimney fires are most often started when built-up creosote ignites in the flue, damaging the chimney liner and the interior masonry. It is vital to remove the creosote buildup to ensure your chimney is in good working order.
Another potential cause of chimney fires is a poorly built chimney. A faulty chimney can lead to a host of problems down the road. Some common signs of a badly contracted chimney include:
- Low-quality bricks and mortar
- Improperly installed chimney liner
- Narrow or shallow footing
If the chimney or flue is poorly designed, it will not adequately contain the heat. This causes bricks and mortar to crack, leading to more damage.
Burning Wet or Unseasoned Firewood
It is essential that you only use dry, seasoned firewood in your fireplace. Dry wood will sound hollow when hit against another piece of wood; it will be a dark color and may have cracks in the ends. It takes about six months for wood to be ready to burn. This type of firewood works best because it burns quickly and completely, leaving very little creosote leftover.
Using Flammable Liquids
Usually, it is not necessary to use gasoline or other flammable liquids to ignite a fire. You should only start fires with clean newspaper or dry kindling. Accelerants, such as kerosene, can cause a bigger flame than expected, and it could pose a safety risk to you and your home.
A chimney leak caused by water damage introduces its own problems, but it can also lead to a fire if not repaired quickly. A small leak can cause widespread damage to the chimney, such as cracked mortar or rotten bricks. These issues make it more probable that a fire could ignite in the chimney.
Call the Experts at Champion Chimneys for Chimney Cleaning Today!
Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). Courteous service is our trademark, and our crews arrive on time in uniform, driving fully equipped trucks. We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.