Inspector’s Corner – Fall Maintenance Tip 3 of 6

Another Friday has come, it’s time for your next helpful tip from Matt Steger, with WIN Home Inspection!  Today’s tip deal with a commonly overlooked maintenance item, the chimney.  Don’t forget, call Matt Steger at 717-361-9467 for all of your home inspection needs!

Matt StegerThis week’s maintenance tip has to do with fireplaces and chimneys.  If your home has a fireplace or wood/coal stove and a chimney, now is the time to have it cleaned and thoroughly inspected by a qualified fireplace/chimney professional.  Cracks in chimney mortar can allow for water to enter and cause extensive damage after just a few freeze and thaw cycles.  A dirty, unmaintained fireplace and chimney can present a hazard once you start using the fireplace again. 288338-ms Creosote (a flammable tar-like substance that can coat the inside of your chimney flue) can re-ignite leading to a chimney fire and a blocked or compromised flue can allow for carbon monoxide entry into the home.  If your chimney is unlined or the liner is damaged, this could cause extension damage to the inside of the chimney.  A professional chimney sweep can determine this and proper repairs can be made.  A proper rain cap/spark arrestor at the top of the chimney will also help keep rain water, animals, and debris out of the chimney.  Burning only seasoned dry wood will help prevent smoky fires and help minimize creosote accumulation.  Store the firewood outside the home, away from the structure and above the ground with a tarp covering to keep the wood dry.

If you have a fireplace (or any kind of wood, coal, or pellet stove), professionally servicing the chimney in the fall BEFORE you burn anything is a wise precaution.  Safety first!

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Your Friend in Real Estate,

Jason Burkholder

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