Did you know a plugged or blocked chimney could cause hazardous materials to back up and filter into your home? As a result, you should inspect your chimney at least every fall to ensure there is adequate draft, clearance and freedom from combustible deposits. It is simple to do, only takes a few minutes and will help keep you safe. If you notice evidence of chimney deterioration or are concerned about a possible block, contact a qualified chimney expert in your area.
- Check the exterior chimney brickwork from the top to bottom to make sure there is no evidence of white chalky deposits, moisture, cracking or loose mortar.
- The clean-out pit at the base of the chimney should be emptied each year. The contents of the pit should be inspected to determine if bits of mortar, brick or stone are present. Evidence of debris could indicate the chimney is starting to deteriorate. The clean-out pit could be either inside or outside the house. It could be either a metal frame with a door, a metal sleeve with a cap, or "Y" or "T" fitting with cap installed at the chimney connection for the furnace vent. This clean-out door should always be closed or capped in place.
- By proper angling of a mirror within your cleanout pit, you should have an unobstructed view up the chimney. Make sure there is no visual evidence of obstruction. Some chimneys are "off-set" and do not allow for proper viewing. If this is the case it might be necessary to call a chimney expert.
- The flue pipe which connects the appliance should be checked for corrosion, deterioration or structural defects. Check all connections and fittings for tightness. White or rust discoloration may indicate internal corrosion. Some chimneys have separate flues for appliances and fireplaces.