On a chilly afternoon, you gather firewood and start a fire, looking forward to just lounging near the flames with a glass of wine and a nice book. Barely a sip into your wine, just as you begin to get comfortable, your nostrils are awakened by the horrendous smell of smoke. Before you know it, more smoke wafts inside your living room and you feel like you are suffocating. Suddenly you remember what your fireplace chimney sweep told you.
This is not a good sign so you look for its source and lo! It is your fireplace. Smoke should not be lingering or even worse still, wafting territorial around your home. This is because the fireplace and chimney are designed to release the smoke outside and if this is not the case then something is preventing your draft from working properly and smoke is escaping the fireplace into your living room.
Your smoky fireplace as you have already realized cold be a sign of an underlying problem that can be handled through a proper fireplace chimney sweep by a certified chimney contractor.
To start with, what are the possible causes of a smoky fireplace, you may ask?
Lack of Proper Maintenance Demands Hiring a Reliable Fireplace Chimney Sweep
Lack of proper chimney maintenance is perhaps the most common primary cause for a smoky fireplace. Chimney maintenance entails regular cleaning and annual chimney inspections to identify potential damages that could arise.
When there is proper diagnosis done by a professional fireplace chimney sweep, the problem can be handled early enough before it deteriorates into an expensive repair. Regular chimney cleaning is also recommended to ensure the chimney walls are free from obstruction caused by debris, small animals and birds’ nests.
A proper fireplace chimney sweep and chimney maintenance will make your chimney last longer, save you effort, time and money. Here are some reasons why you might be seeing excessive smoke in your fireplace.
Type of Wood Being Used
Wood such as pine produce a lot more smoke than hard wood like oak especially when they are wet or are unseasoned. This is why it is important to burn only seasoned wood and if you can, only go for hardwood. Hard and dry wood burns completely, fast and with less smoke.
Improper Chimney Draft
An improper chimney draft is another reason why smoke lingers inside your home instead of going out. Two most common causes of improper chimney draft are:
When the chimney flue is blocked, it’s difficult for the air to pass through and can lead to draft problems. Common blockages in the chimney liners include creosote build-up, small animals like raccoons, squirrels, birds’ nests, debris from twigs and dry leaves and other objects that could get stuck and create a blockage in the flue.
Creosote buildup occurs inevitably whenever the chimney is used frequently. Creosote is a normal byproduct of burning wood formed when smoke that rises from open flames; mixes with cold air and water near the top of a chimney, solidifies and sticks to the chimney liner or brickwork for chimneys without liners. When allowed to mount up on the walls of the flue, it narrows the passageway of smoke as it tries to get out.
This is why a fireplace chimney sweep should be carried out because creosote is a highly flammable substance and should not be left to accumulate beyond 1/8 inch. A chimney cap or cover comes in handy to keep away debris, animals, and birds. Chimney crowns also prevent rain, snow from seeping inside your chimney.
Defective Chimney Damper
The damper controls flow of air from outside right down to the fireplace. Your fireplace chimney will check this to ensure it is open. When it is closed or is defective then smoke will be trapped inside the fireplace with no escape route and will then waft into your living room. The smoke is not only poisonous when inhaled thereby posing health risks but can also settle on furniture causing very stubborn stains that can discolor furniture. That is why you always need a fireplace chimney sweep and annual inspection.
Whatever the reason for your fireplace and chimney woes, we are always ready to listen and serve you. Schedule an appointment with us today for a fireplace chimney sweep and inspection so that you will not have to face a smoky fireplace anymore. After our services, you’ll be back having relaxing nights by your fireplace.