2 Chimney Issues To Look Out For During An Inspection

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When it comes to home maintenance, the chimney often gets overlooked. But regular home chimney inspections are essential for ensuring your home is safe and free of potential hazards related to the structure and operation of your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

Unfortunately, sometimes during a home inspection, homeowners discover that their chimney has been neglected or damaged. This article explores some common issues you may encounter when inspecting your home's chimney.

Creosote Buildup

Creosote buildup is a common problem encountered when inspecting a home's chimney. It is the result of burning wood inefficiently or incompletely, allowing the unburned gases and particles to condense on the inside walls of the flue. This buildup can create an extremely combustible environment that can lead to chimney fires if left unchecked.

Creosote is often easy to spot during an inspection as it appears as a black, sooty buildup on the inside walls of the flue. The more creosote you find indicates a more serious problem, as this usually points to too much air being let into the firebox or failing to burn all the wood completely.

To reduce creosote accumulation, use smaller pieces of wood rather than larger ones and ensure they are fully burned before adding more fuel to them. Also, ensuring your fireplace is properly ventilated will minimize air intake and limit creosote buildup in your flue over time.


Obstructions are another common problem encountered during a chimney inspection. They can range from small nests and debris accumulated over time to large blockages caused by fallen branches or animals entering the flue.

Unfortunately, these obstructions can cause the chimney to be very inefficient, as they impede proper airflow. This obstruction can cause smoke and carbon monoxide to enter your home, which is dangerous and unhealthy for you and your family.

To avoid obstructions in your chimney, inspect it regularly, so any issues can be caught before they become serious. Also, installing wire mesh on top of your flue will help keep animals and debris from entering the chimney.

Despite these preventative measures, it's still important to check for any signs of blocked airways during an inspection. If anything looks like an obstruction or potentially hazardous material, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Instead, contact a professional to ensure the blockage is safely removed.

Regular home chimney inspections can help ensure your home is safe and free of potential hazards. During these inspections, it's important to look for common issues like creosote buildup and obstructions. Doing so can help you keep your home and family safe from the potential dangers of a neglected chimney.

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