All About Chimneys
Real fires add something undeniably pleasing to any home, but you will need to make sure they are properly installed and that the chimney is regularly swept and maintained to get optimum enjoyment and warmth, as well as ensuring safety in the home.
Every part of the home needs to be maintained and your chimneys are no exception. A professional chimney sweep is essential to make sure these issues are dealt with efficiently.
After prolonged usage, your chimney can start developing problems. These problems, if not taken care of quickly, could become a health danger to you and your family.
Here are a couple of common problems that your chimney could develop:
The fire is not drawing
This can be due to cold air entering the chimney flue through cracks and gaps in the brickwork or exterior mortar joints. The cooler air being drawn into the chimney flue through these openings can cool the flue gasses significantly enough to form an invisible ‘plug’ in the flue which can cause draughting problems. Or maybe because there is no or insufficient ventilation in the room, which starves the fire of oxygen resulting in poor combustion and this produces insufficient heat to give the combustion gasses (smoke) the buoyancy that is required to move it upwards and out of the chimney.
Obstructions in your chimney
There could be something causing an obstruction in the chimney that won’t allow the smoke to properly exit up through the flue, creating a ‘bottle neck’. There are many things that could cause such obstructions like leaves, dead birds and nests and even bees or wasps nests and of course fallen bricks. Even incorrect chimney terminals. All of these could result in smoke being prevented from going up and out the chimney speedily enough. The consequences of this is that toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide could enter the home. Obviously you will want to avoid this at all costs, so again a quick call to your chimney sweep is very much advised.
Excessive soot in the chimney
Excessive soot is usually caused if there is not an adequate updraught in the flue or not enough oxygen for the complete combustion of the fuel or even if the fuel is being burnt at the wrong temperature, one of the side effects is a build up of soot of tar within the chimney flue.
This soot and tar can build up very quickly and a lot will depend on what appliance is in use, what size flue is in place and what fuel is being burnt and at what temperature. Soot and tar can catch fire and can cause considerable damage to your property and others attached to it. A good chimney sweep will be able to identify these problems and advise you on the correct way to use your appliance and the most appropriate fuels to burn.
Bricks falling into the chimney flue
When a chimney has deteriorated badly, usually through old age and neglect, the bricks that are on top of the chimney, or even those bricks which separate the flues can start dropping down the chimney. Neglect often leads to damage and dampness. This could result in the chimney becoming at worst unstable and at the very least inefficient. It could allow smoke and toxic gases to enter the house rather than leave through the chimney outlet.
Creosote in the chimney flue
If you burn wood in your fireplace incorrectly, the smoke will go up the chimney and flammable tar /creosote will be deposited in the flue lining. The creosote deposited could also begin to burn and the chimney could be set on fire. There are still thousands of house fires caused by creosote in chimneys every year.
All About Chimneys – Conclusion
All these problems can be easily rectified and diagnosed and using a good chimney sweeping service, they should be able to assess any damage that has occurred in the chimney. They will be able to provide you with sound advice on how to fix any problems found and hopefully prevent it from ever happening again in the future. If you look after your chimney it will last a lot longer and you will be a lot safer.
Contact London Chimney Sweeps
Apex Chimney Sweeps London are able to take care of all the above issues, quickly and efficiently. Please give us a call on 020 8856 4341 or use our contact form to get in touch and we’ll be delighted to have a friendly, no-obligation chat about your needs and how best to take care of them.
Please contact us if you’d like to discuss sorting out any of chimney related problems. We can arrange for Chimney Pots, Cowls And Birdguards, Complete Chimney Safety Inspections, Chimney CCTV Survey and of course Chimney Sweeping.