Fireplaces are an excellent feature to have in any home. They are perfect for warming your home during the winter months and adding a cozy ambiance to your space. Families love to gather around the fireplace during special occasions. Unfortunately, your fireplace can also negatively impact your health if your chimney is not cleaned correctly by a professional. The leftover materials after burning a fire can be toxic and harmful if not removed quickly. Let’s go over the health risks associated with a dirty chimney.
Creosote is a highly flammable, tar-like substance leftover in chimney flues after every wood fire. This toxic material must be cleaned out of the chimney regularly to ensure a safe and healthy fireplace. Creosote buildup can cause serious health problems for you and your family. Inhaling creosote often causes breathing problems, and those with asthma or similar respiratory issues are particularly at risk. Additionally, creosote doesn’t just hurt your lungs; it can also irritate your eyes. Any debris that touches or gets near your eye can cause a burning sensation that may need medical attention. In rare cases, creosote exposure has been linked to skin cancer.
Carbon Monozide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is hard to detect because it is an odorless and colorless gas. If you use your fireplace often, you should always have a functioning carbon monoxide detector in the house. Carbon monoxide detectors can alert you once it identifies dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Poisoning can happen if your chimney is dirty, an animal nest or some other blockage in the chimney, or damage to the fireplace. It can be difficult to spot the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning because they often mimic the symptoms of other illnesses. Some common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
The most significant risk of a dirty fireplace is a chimney fire. All of the toxic creosote that is built up in your chimney can suddenly ignite and catch your whole house on fire. The high temperatures of a chimney fire can melt mortar, crack tiles, cause liners to collapse, and damage the outer masonry material. As a result, fire can escape the chimney flue and burn nearby home building materials such as wood. It is essential that you call a professional chimney sweep to clean your chimney system before a dangerous fire breaks out.
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.