Have You Checked Your Chicago New Home Chimney Lately?

October 01, 2012

One of the reasons I bought my Chicago new home was for its fireplace. What I didn’t realize was how much maintenance my chimney needed before lighting a simple wood-burning fire.

When is the last time you checked your chimney?

This would be a great time to get on that: September 30 through October 6 is National Chimney Safety Week.

chimney safety

Make sure no one has made your chimney a home before lighting a fire.

“A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” said Ashley Eldridge, director of education at the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards. Sometimes, maintenance requires extra diligence. That’s the case this year.”

It was a hot summer around Chicago, so not many homeowners used their fireplaces. An infrequently used fireplace could result in creosote build-up, a bird’s nest or other debris in the chimney, which has the potential to catch fire and cause damage to your home.

The CSIA recommends these steps for reducing the threat of a chimney fire:

  • Have your chimney inspected before you start warming your home with a fire in the upcoming cold Chicago nights.
  • Make sure the chimney flashing is inspected. This seal between the chimney and roof prevents rain water and snow melt from entering a home and causing damage to walls and ceilings.
  • Make sure your chimney has a good chimney cap, which keeps out moisture that can wear away masonry and other components in a chimney.
  • In new-home construction, chimney liners are required to separate system emissions from the home’s structure. Make sure your chimney has an appropriate liner whether it’s new or old.

Visit Chimney Safety for more information and tips, including a list of CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, and then check back to Chicago Real Estate Forum next week for more safety tips during Fire Prevention Week, October 7 through 13.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Tracey

Leave a Comment