What are some signs that your fireplace may need repair, and when should you contact All Valley Fireplace Repair for assistance?
Crackling fires on a cold winter’s Eve are an incredibly relaxing experience. Whether you’re sitting in front of the fireplace with your family, reading a book or just taking a nap, there’s nothing like that warm ambiance.
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But just like any appliance in your home, your fireplace can get damaged and need repair if not properly cared for. In order to avoid putting your home at risk, it’s important to recognize some of the most common warning signs that you may need a chimney or fireplace repair.
- Obstructed airflow: This is an obvious sign that you need to have your chimney or fireplace inspected. A blocked flue can cause dangerous gases and fumes to build up inside of your chimney. If you have a gas fireplace, this can also result in carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Soot accumulation: It’s not uncommon to see a small amount of soot on your fireplace, but it can become quite a significant problem if you don’t take steps to clean it up. Over time, soot can actually damage your fireplace by causing it to burn slower and less efficiently.
- A foul smell: This is a very common warning sign that you need to have your chimney or firebox cleaned and repaired. It can happen for several reasons, but one of the most common is a malfunctioning damper or a clogged chimney.
- Discoloration on the mortar: This is another indicator that you need to have your chimney or fireplace repaired. Discoloration can be caused by excess creosote, too much moisture in the flue, or an accumulation of mold.
- Cracks in the mortar: This is a pretty standard problem with brick and stone fireplaces, but it can be an even bigger issue for fireboxes built with metal. These are particularly susceptible to expansion and contraction, which can wear the mortar down over time.
- A foul odor: If you notice an unusually strong smell coming from your fireplace, you should call a professional right away. This can be an indicator of a problem with the ventilation system in your chimney, such as a clogged flue or improperly vented damper, and it can also be a sign that you have a leaking chimney liner.
- Rust on the chimney: While it’s not as visible from the outside, rust is a very common problem that’s easy to miss until you have your fireplace and chimney professionally inspected.
- Shaling: If you find a small pile of bits of clay in the bottom of your chimney, this is an indication that you need to have your chimney repaired. Often, the tiles in chimney flues are made of clay because they are inexpensive and durable, but over time, this type of tile can break down and need replacement.
- Minor firebox deterioration: While this can be remedied with some DIY repairs, severe deterioration can require an entirely new firebox.
It’s never a good idea to ignore fireplace problems, especially since they can lead to serious issues in the future. Regular maintenance can increase the lifespan of your fireplace & chimney while protecting your family from harmful chemicals and carbon monoxide exposure.