Chimneys add more than just architectural interest to a house; they also provide the household with warmth and coziness. However, if not maintained well and regularly cleaned, chimneys can also add fire and discomfort as well. —
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, an average of 25,100 fire was caused by fireplaces and chimneys between 2003 and 2005, costing an average of $126.1 million.
A good percentage of chimney fires go undetected. They are usually caused by not having enough air or too much fuel. Although they might not be seen, they can still cause serious damage to the structure of the chimney itself, as well as nearby parts of the house.
Having an annual chimney inspection is a great way to prevent a chimney fire. There are three levels of a chimney inspection. In the first level, the inspector will check both chimney and fireplace visually, with the use of a flashlight, in search for damage, soot, and obstructions, as well as any creosote build-up. Based on that, the inspection will do a chimney sweep if he deems it necessary.
For homeowners who live in areas with troublesome weather or areas that experienced a dramatic tornado or hurricane, it is recommended that they give their chimneys a second-level check. Homeowners who made some major changes to their fireplaces, and who bought a new house that includes a fireplace should also do a level two inspection. In addition to the visual check that takes place in level one, this level also includes inspecting both roof and attic, as well as the crawl space.
The third level of inspection, however, usually takes place after a chimney fire. This level is considered destructive and intrusive, as it is very similar to a demolition job. This level can include the dismantling and tearing down of the chimney itself, and rebuilding it and the surrounding walls again afterward.
Name: Nadine Dirbashi
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Organization: Home Roofing
Release ID: 264212