5 Dangers Of Ignoring Proper Chimney And Fireplace Maintenance

Chimney is the number one cause of death and destruction due to house fires. You must be wondering that how can this be as the puff of smoke coming out of the chimney seems so serene and peaceful in the cold winter nights and the fireplace keeps the homes cozy and warm. But the negligence in getting your chimney inspected by chimney contractors is a disaster lurking in the dark waiting to happen.

Many of you enjoy the benefits of a chimney but tend to ignore the importance of chimney maintenance. Failure to perform regular maintenance may lead to destructive effects which can be hazardous and fatal.

Creosote Buildup

The smoke from the fire which goes up the chimney produces a sticky tar like substance known as creosote. The creosote forms a film on the interior walls of the chimney. The problem with creosote is that it builds up every time you use the fireplace and the layer increases in thickness in the inner chimney walls. If chimney maintenance is not carried out on a regular basis then this creosote may hinder air flow.

The creosote is the main reason of chimney fires and burns at a temperature much higher than gas or wood and it can get difficult to extinguish once it’s burnt. Annually getting your chimney sweeped and cleaned by a professional contractor will rid your chimney of creosote buildup and in turn protect your family and home.

Hazardous and Toxic Gases

If you are ignorant in getting your chimney maintained, then the blockage and obstruction will cause harmful gases such as carbon monoxide to enter your home. Carbon monoxide is a deadly and dangerous gas which is harmful if inhaled. It has no taste, is odorless and invisible, so cannot be seen by the naked eye but can be fatal if it is inhaled in large amounts.

You need a special detector to detect the presence of carbon monoxide. You should get your chimney inspected and cleaned annually to avoid the buildup of soot and creosote which in turn causes toxic gases like carbon monoxide to enter your home.


Your warm chimney attracts small animals and birds to make their homes or take refuge in the warm and cozy atmosphere and escape the cold winters. Sometimes the animals also make their nests on the chimneys. Other chimney obstructions may include dead animals, fallen leaves and twigs, other debris.

These obstructions prevent the smoke and other toxic gases to escape from the opening to the outside world and causing it to enter inside the home. You would never know about the inspection till a hazard happens or when you get it inspected. The chimney contractor would also advise you to get a chimney cap installed.

These blockages can also lead to the damage of the damper and the flue lining. Therefore it is extremely necessary to get inspection to rid your chimney off these type of obstructions and save yourself and your home.

Water Damage

Sometimes water can also enter the chimney opening causing corrosion of metal flue liner and also damper. The corrosion and rust can lead to cracks and holes which makes the house and chimney prone to damage and fires.

Deadly Fire

The accumulation of creosote and soot in the interior walls of the chimney and the entrance of toxic gases and carbon monoxide inside the house can lead to dangerous and deadly fires. Creosote is extremely combustible and can lead to fire when the chimney is burnt. Carbon monoxide can also lead to fire if mixed with chimney fire.

Chimney Repairs

If you ignore inspection and regular maintenance then you tend to miss chimney repairs as well. There may be small cracks due to corrosion or heat in the flue liner, the damper, and the chimney cap and other parts of the chimney.

This can cause the harmful gases to get trapped in your homes and also the chimney loses its ability to perform efficiently. If you get an inspection done then minor chimney repair Bowie can be spotted but if you neglect then it may lead to major cracks and thus the whole chimney will need to be repaired leading to higher costs.