Energy News / AAA Public Adjusters

Keeping Chimneys and Houses Safe

Via: ReleaseWire

Updated 10:08 AM CST, Wed, January 02,2019

Feasterville-Trevose, PA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/02/2019 -- Chimneys are not easily maintained features for a house. If not maintained properly they can cause house fires and endanger the home through cracks and instability. Historic homes in Philadelphia, Bucks County, and Montgomery County are susceptible to damage from fires and structural instability due to age.

Most Common Problems for a Chimney

Many problems can befall a chimney. A chimney should be inspected for any of the following problems.

Obstruction – Obstruction of a chimney can be caused by several factors. These include insufficient height for the chimney, negative air pressure in the home, leaves, soot, creosote, and bird nests. Blockage can cause toxic fumes to accumulate and become trapped within the home potentially leading to carbon monoxide poisoning and even death.

Creosote Buildup – Smoke from wood burning fireplaces goes up the chimney and deposits Creosote in the flue lining. These deposits are highly flammable. Thousands of fires occur each year due to dirty chimneys. Homeowners should have their chimneys cleaned regularly based on how much they use their fireplace.

Brickwork Problems – Chimneys have the ability to lean, crumble and even collapse due to neglect. Homeowners should make sure that no water is getting into the chimney system. Water can destroy the mortar and even the brickwork of a chimney causing the chimney to deteriorate and potentially cause other problems. Making repairs to a chimney costs a lot less than replacing a whole chimney.

Chimney Crown and Cap – If a chimney crown becomes cracked it should be fixed immediately so that moisture does not enter it and further endanger the stability of the chimney. Moisture is the biggest cause of chimney failures as it can cause damage to the masonry, lining, firebox, damper, ceilings, walls, and more inside of the home. Chimney caps help prevent moisture, leaves, and animals from getting inside of the chimney system, however, sometimes they too need replaced.

Cracks in the Flue – Chimney linings are important. However, they are under a lot of stress due to heat and flammable deposits. Moisture and creosote deposits can cause the lining to deteriorate and cause more problems. If the lining is broken, deteriorated or cracked then it should be replaced immediately as it protects the house from catching fire. Homeowners should get their chimney linings inspected for cracks regularly depending on usage.

Chimney Inspections

Chimneys, like a roof, needs to be inspected regularly to find any of the above problems. There are three levels of inspection.

Level One – This is the most common and basic inspection. This inspection is recommended if your usage and appearance of the chimney has not changed since the last inspection. A certified technician should inspect the exterior or interior of the chimney, as well as the connection. The technician should also make sure that there are no obstructions and that the chimney is free of combustible material.

Level Two – This inspection is required if any changes have been made to the chimney, fireplace, or usage has changed since the last inspection. Level two inspections are also required when the home changes hands or when if the structural integrity of the chimney is compromised. This inspection should include everything from a level one inspection plus an inspection of all accessible portions of the chimney. Also, a video scan should be done to see the inside of the chimney.

Level Three – Level Three inspections are only required when a serious hazard is suspected. This inspection should include everything from the above level inspections along with some demolition if needed.

It should be noted that only a certified technician should be inspecting or repairing a chimney. Repairs should be completed as soon as the problem is identified so that further damage does not occur. Chimney cleaning is a seasonal business with the busiest part of the year being winter. Homeowners should try to schedule cleanings and inspections during the off seasons.

After a loss, consult with AAA Public Adjusters and schedule a free consultation. Call toll free 800-410-5054 or visit their website at http://www.AAAPublicAdjusters.com.

About AAA Public Adjusters
AAA Public Adjusters, LLC, is a property loss consulting firm headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Additional offices are located throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and North Carolina. AAA Public Adjuster have been fighting insurance companies for over 25 years. AAA Public Adjusters, Maximizing Your Claim!

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Mark Cohen
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Web: http://www.aaapublicadjusters.com/