Chimney Flue Obstructions, Chimney Rebuilding, And Chimney Repairs In Westminster MD
If you’re like most homeowners in Westminster, MD, you probably don’t spend much of the day thinking about the chimney, especially if everything looks to be in working order. However, everything may not be as they appear. There may be small cracks developing on the surface, flashing that is starting to warp, obstructions developing in the flue, and other issues that may not be readily noticeable. Without annual chimney inspections and professional cleaning, many common chimney problems may go unnoticed until it becomes a significant issue.
Flue Obstruction Repairs in Westminster MD
When there is an obstruction in the flue, smoke and fumes do not vent outside properly and can back up into the living space exposing occupants to carbon monoxide. It can also increase the risk of a chimney fire. Many obstructions result from small animals like birds, squirrels, and raccoons that enter the chimney through a damaged or non-existent chimney cap. Leaves, twigs, creosote build-up, and other debris can also block the flue vent.
Excessive Creosote Removal In Westminster, MD
Excessive creosote is a common problem in chimneys that are not appropriately cleaned. It also happens to be the number one cause of residential fires and is entirely preventable. Creosote is a naturally occurring substance produced when burning fossil and liquid fuels like wood and gas.
It sticks to the walls and other components inside the flue and continues to accumulate with every burn. Its initial stage is a white powdery material that is easily removed with regular chimney sweeping. Otherwise, it will harden into a dark, charcoal-like substance that is highly flammable and challenging to remove without the assistance of a professional chimney sweep.
The National Fire Protection Association and fire safety experts agree that cleaning the chimney at least once per year is the best way to prevent a chimney fire. We offer a wide selection of energy-efficient fireplaces and heating stoves in Westminster, MD. These state-of-the-art heating appliances are easy to operate and produce significantly less pollution. Our local experts will make upgrading or installing a new fireplace or heating stove effortless.
Masonry chimneys are prone to wear and tear just like any other structure. Spalling bricks, gaps in the mortar joints, cracked chimney crown, and a chimney fire are some of the common causes of masonry damage. The cold, wet, and snowy winter weather that we experience in Westminster and around Northern Maryland can accelerate its deterioration. Also, the constant dips below and above freezing temperatures during the winter can cause bricks to crack or spall. Without repair, the condition worsens, and entire pieces of brick fall from the chimney exposing gaps or holes in the structure that can destabilize the chimney. Our annual chimney inspection is available throughout Northern Maryland. It includes a visual examination for signs of masonry damage. Catching damages early when they are minor will help avoid more expensive repairs later.
Water leaks are another common problem because of many entry points where water can intrude like worn or damaged flashing, cracked chimney crown, and gaps in the mortar joints. When water gets into the flue, it can cause extensive damage to not only the masonry but also to metal components, including the damper and smoke shelf. Also, high wind events from hurricanes, tornadoes, and other intense storms can also cause chimney damage that sprouts chimney leaks. Noticing water stains on the ceiling around the fireplace, water in the firebox or condensation in the flue are signs of a potential water intrusion that should be inspected by a qualified chimney repair professional. Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps, Fireplaces, and Grills performs expert chimney repairs in Westminster and Carrol County, MD, and throughout Northern Maryland.
Flue Liner Cracks
Since the flue liner helps prevent the heat in the fireplace from spreading to combustible structural materials, cracks in the flue liner can increase the risk of fire and exposure to toxic fumes. Most flue liners are clay tiles that can burst under extremely high temperatures. When there is an excessive accumulation of creosote in the flue, the heat or hot ember from burning wood in the fireplace can spark a chimney fire. With fire temperatures soaring above 2,000°F, the clay tiles begin to burst under pressure. Many homeowners are unaware they had a fire in the chimney until a chimney sweep discovers the damage during a chimney inspection. Also, the gases created during combustion become corrosive when it comes in contact with moisture or condensation in the flue. The corrosion can eat through the clay tiles that will require repair or replacement. We highly recommend a periodic video scan of the flue. It can spot tiny cracks in the liner, which may be missed with the naked eye.
Serving Westminster MD and the surrounding communities of Aspen Run MD, Hampstead MD, Mexico MD, Pleasant Valley MD, Union Mills MD, and across Northern Maryland.