If you’ve been following along over the last couple of days, you’ve heard us talk about how to choose the right firewood and how to troubleshoot a poorly drafting chimney — things you, as a homeowner, can (and should) do on your own to ensure your system is working properly. Today, we’re going to switch gears a little and talk about some situations where it’s a good idea to call your local CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep for a more thorough investigation.
FYI… both the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America(that’s us), recommend an annual chimney inspection by a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. An annual inspection can go along way in preventing any unexpected issues and saving you a lot of money.
Okay, now that little disclaimer is out of the way, here are some scenarios where you’ll want to call for some well-trained backup.
- Your drafting issues were not fixed by any of the suggestions we mentioned in our last post and your fireplace is still spilling smoke into your home.
- You’ve got a fire going in the fireplace and you suddenly hear what sounds like a jet-engine inside your chimney (this may very well be a chimney fire, and you might want to call 911 before calling your nearest CSIA Certified Sweep).
- You see visible flames coming from the top of your chimney (again, definitely call the fire department first!)
- A family of raccoons/squirrels/other furry creatures have taken up residence inside your chimney.
- You’re in the market for a new (previously-owned) home. Although we have much love for home inspectors, not all of them are well trained on fireplaces and chimneys, so it’s still a good idea to call a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep for a more thorough inspection prior to signing that dotted line.
- You notice signs of water intrusion in and around your fireplace.
- Your fireplace stinks. Seriously.
- When you’re ready to install a new fireplace insert or other chimney-connected appliance.
- Any other situation that leaves you unsure about using your fireplace or stove. Safety first!
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