A chimney fire is not always a loud and fast-paced event. In fact, it’s typically a slow and gradual fire that moves slowly and quietly up your flue. In most cases, it can be hard to know that you’ve even experienced one! …which means, you could be using your system not knowing you’re facing serious risks by doing so.
Signs of a Chimney Fire
By knowing the signs of a chimney fire, you will be able to take the necessary steps to avoid dangers and any further damage to your system. Here are some signs that you’ve had a chimney fire.
Creosote is a byproduct of burning wood or coal. It’s usually either flaky or tar-textured, and blackish-brown in color. When you see puffy or honeycombed creosote deposits inside of your chimney flue, this means that your existing creosote was exposed to abnormally high temperatures.
✓ Distorted or Discolored Chimney Cap or Damper
If your chimney cap or damper is warped or discolored, this is an indication that they’ve been exposed directly to flames – which shouldn’t be happening. If you’ve noticed this issue, you should have your chimney inspected and these parts replaced as soon as possible.
✓ Cracking Flue Tiles
Some chimneys have a clay flue liner which protects the rest of the home from the heat your fires produce. That said, a clay flue tile liner is able to withstand only so much heat before it starts to break down and crack. These areas are meant for directing fumes and smoke out of your home – not withstanding fires.
If you see any cracks in your flue tiles, this is an indication that your chimney may have been exposed to dangerously high temperatures, and an expert should be called to look things over right away. The cracks will only get worse over time, potentially creating new pathways for heat and other harmful fumes to escape into your home.
✓ Roofing Damage
Since a chimney fire can get out of control quickly, it’s not uncommon for the fire to damage your roof too. Look for any signs of charring or burning on your roof, as this is a sure sign that your chimney needs to be checked out by a professional. If you have installed accessories on your roof, such as a satellite dish, make sure to check these as well for any damage.
Chunks of creosote also commonly fall on the roof during a chimney fire. Be familiar with what it looks like so you can identify it and take appropriate actions.
✓ Cracks in Masonry
Just like flue tiles, brick masonry is not fireproof. When there’s a chimney fire, the bricks can start to crack from the heat exposure. When the crack opens up, it will allow more heat and flames to escape, potentially causing more damage to your home and inviting all kinds of dangers for those within it.
This is why regular chimney maintenance, as well as a yearly inspection, is important to avoid such hazards. If we find your masonry is damaged, we have the tools, training, and experience to address it.
What To Do After You’ve Had a Chimney Fire
Once you’ve determined that there’s been a chimney fire, it’s important to take the necessary steps to avoid any further damage or hazards.
- Refrain From Using Your Chimney: After a chimney fire, do not use your fireplace or wood stove until you’ve had it inspected by a professional. It can pose a serious threat to your home and your family if you use it without checking for any damage. Carbon monoxide exposure and house fires are both big threats that could occur if you use your system without getting it inspected first.
- Contact A Professional: The next thing you want to do after noticing chimney fire signs is to contact a professional for help. A certified sweep will be able to properly assess the damage and recommend the necessary repairs. In some cases, a complete chimney rebuild may be necessary. If you are in the Memphis area, you can call MadeWell Masonry and we would be happy to assist you. We offer different services that could aid you after a chimney fire including tuckpointing, firebox repairs, damper replacement, chimney relining, and more.
- Check With Your Insurance Company: Contact your insurance company for information on what your homeowner’s policy offers after an event of this nature. They’ll likely require you to get a professional inspection.
- Document the Damage: Madewell Masonry will document damage by taking pictures and video scanning of any damage so you can see for yourself the condition of your chimney. This information will be presented to you in written form with photos for ease of understanding. All of this is info is imperative for getting the coverage you need.
Get Started – Dial Our Number Today
When it comes to your chimney and fireplace, understanding what’s going on when you see something unusual can help you take the necessary steps to prevent any further damages or disasters. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to contact MadeWell Masonry at 901-443-1036. Schedule a visit today and let our professionals help you take care of your home.