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5 Reasons to Avoid Inspecting Chimney Yourself 

From offering a timeless beauty in your home’s architecture to keeping your family warm and cozy, fireplaces are a great addition to any home. Most fireplaces come with some kind of chimney that requires maintenance. Regular inspections and chimney sweeps are an essential part of chimney maintenance and keeping your home safe from fire hazards, but it’s best to leave these inspections to the professionals. 

Most homeowners try to perform inspections by themselves to save some money. This can cause improper maintenance because only a professional can properly inspect or clean a chimney. If you don’t get professional inspection and cleaning, it can lead to chimney fires and many other problems.  

While you may think that inspecting a chimney is all about lighting up a torch and checking it from the roof, there are many things involved in it. Here are some reasons that show why you shouldn’t DIY chimney inspection. 

Exposure to Flammable & Poisonous Substances

There’s nothing more important than your health and safety. While inspecting the chimney, you may injure yourself, slip or fall on the roof, or release flammable byproducts inside the home. 

Creosote is the major cause behind chimney fires because it is highly flammable. Even a slight mistake can cause a fire in the chimney and poses a risk for your family or the chimney’s structure. The other concern is the release of carbon monoxide gas. Do you know that every year, at least 430 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning while 50,000 are injured? It’s odorless, so you won’t know if it leaks during the DIY inspection. 

Professionals are trained to inspect and clean chimneys; they take all the necessary precautions to perform their job. Since they know which areas can cause CO gas leaks or where the most buildup resides inside the chimney, they perform the inspection accordingly. For example, they will check rusted areas and broken connector pipes for CO gas leaks and offer suitable repairs. 

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Lack of Professional Tools and Training

You don’t have the experience, professional training, or equipment and tools required to perform a chimney inspection. Certified chimney professionals undergo thorough training and have extensive knowledge about chimney components, venting systems, and fireplaces. They also have experience working with many chimneys, which makes them proficient at their job. 

Moreover, professional tools also make a huge difference. These tools allow the professionals to get the job done without creating a mess or causing any damage. 

Overlooking Serious Chimney Problems

Homeowners inspecting their chimneys themselves will likely overlook potentially dangerous problems that can result in severe consequences. For example, during the inspection, you may not see the cracks in the flue liner and continue using the chimney. The broken flue liner will release toxic fumes in the home and even cause carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Professional chimney inspectors have video cameras and other equipment, allowing them to inspect hard-to-reach areas that you can’t. They know the possible areas with issues and which repairs are required. Besides checking for fire hazards, they will also check the condition of the bricks and masonry of your chimney. Early identification of brick spalling or effervescence can prevent expensive repairs in the future. 

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Creates Damage & Mess

There’s a lot of debris buildup inside the chimney. When inspecting it yourself, you may release a thick black substance known as soot which is dangerous to breathe and quite messy. If it transfers to the walls, furniture, or carpet, you will need to call cleaning professionals, or some damage may not be reversible. 

As mentioned before, professional chimney inspectors have special tools that don’t release any dirt, debris, or dangerous substances into the home. They also use specialized vacuums to clean the soot or debris before they cause any damage.   

Risks of Falling Down or Damaging the Chimney

Homeowners don’t have the suitable protective gear or training to work on the roofs to inspect the chimney interior. According to CDC, over 500,000 people receive medical treatment due to ladder-related injuries. Even if you’re comfortable working over roofs because of experience, the chances of successfully inspecting the chimney are slim. 

A lot of debris in the chimney stops you from viewing the flue liner or other components. That’s why in most inspections, the professionals clean the buildup and then thoroughly check the internal chimney. 

If you use any wrong tool or product to clear up the debris, it will damage the chimney components such as masonry, caps, flue liners, etc., requiring chimney rebuilding. These damages will further increase your expenses. So why not avoid all the hassles by scheduling a professional chimney inspection? 

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Conclusion

A chimney is an important part of your home. It’s fine to do a light sweep and basic inspection yourself, but you should schedule professional chimney repairs every once or twice a year to maintain safety. 

Creative Masonry & Chimney has certified and trained professionals who follow the best practices recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Chimney Sweep Guide (NCSG). Their unmatched performance and customer service have made them an A+ Rated BBB Company. 

Whether you need chimney inspection or chimney cleaning, their expert team will handle it. They offer their chimney repair services in Cheshire, Cromwell, Rocky Hill, and many other regions in Connecticut. 

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