June 15, 2023

The Most Dangerous Characteristics Of A Neglected Chimney

The Most Dangerous Characteristics Of A Neglected Chimney

Being a homeowner goes hand-in-hand with home maintenance. We have all had to do a few projects or chores around the house to keep it in good shape. One area of the home that is often neglected is the chimney.

It is easy to forget about doing chimney maintenance because most homeowners do not even know it is required. After all, it is a solid part of the home, and many of us don’t even know how to identify where or if our chimney is damaged.

At Quality Fireplace, we believe that fire safety and chimney maintenance is crucial for every home. That is why we put together this shortlist of the most common issues found with chimneys.

Broken Chimney Cap or Flashing

Broken chimney caps and damaged flashing are two of the most common problems we find when performing inspections. Since the roof is difficult to view without a ladder, these problems often go overlooked. If you are experiencing water leaks in your ceiling, the flashing around the chimney may need attention.

Water damage and moisture are the chimney’s worst enemy. Moisture erodes building materials and can cause critical damage to other areas of your home, such as:

  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Insulation
  • Firebox

The last thing you want to do is replace a section of your roof or tear down drywall because a small leak in the flashing is allowing water indoors. Having a professional inspect it before the elements cause extreme damage could save you thousands in repairs. Learn more about our services.

Debris Buildup or Animal Nests

Plant life and animals are a beautiful part of nature but become a danger when lodged in your chimney. This debris buildup is a huge fire risk due to the dryness of the material and the intense heat from a fire.

Finding debris and nests in your chimney system is a natural occurrence and unavoidable. The best safety measure is to have your entire chimney inspected before you light that first fire of the season. Again, most people do not think to check for brush or nests which increases the likelihood of a fire.

If you hear strange noises coming from your fireplace, contact Quality Fireplace for an appointment. Remember chimneys are an attractive place to make a home because they are out of the cold and in an enclosed space.


Creosote is a term every homeowner should know before attempting to burn in their fireplace. When you burn wood in your fireplace, the smoke travels up the flue and creates a carbon byproduct called creosote. This dangerous buildup is a combination of flammable tar and soot that needs to be eradicated for every cord of wood you burn.

Additionally, creosote will continue to grow over time which can clog the air passage. If left untreated, this blockage can become an extremely expensive project to resolve. Awareness is the key to avoid letting creosote become a danger. Spread the message of how to safely enjoy the warmth and beauty of a wood-burning fire to family and friends. Quality Fireplace also offers a referral program worth $25 per referral!

Crumbling Brickwork

Aside from taking away from the beauty of your home, a crumbling chimney can cause major issues for the entire home. The materials used to build chimneys can differ from the materials used to build your home.

When a crumbling chimney goes unattended you increase the risk for irreversible damage. Sometimes the damage can be so bad that the entire chimney will collapse!

Brick and mortar damage also pose the risk of allowing moisture in places that you DO NOT want to be damp. Our professional and experienced team will find and fix eroding mortar and crumbling bricks so you can catch the problem before it costs thousands. Put the safety of your family and home first by scheduling a yearly inspection.

Cracked Flue Tiles

After years of use, the clay tiles in your chimney flue begin to crack and dry out. These cracks need to be repaired as soon as possible to avoid flue fires. The problem starts with the additional buildup of creosote that forms around the cracks. Over time burning fire without repairing cracked flue tiles or cleaning the creosote buildup may lead to a devastating chimney fire.

Cracked flue tiles also allow moisture into the chimney which we know causes erosion damage. There is almost no way to know that your tiles are cracked without the help of an experience CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. At Quality Fireplace, Roof, & Chimney Services, we perform a “Chimnoscopy” on every inspection which allows us to visually inspect the entire chimney using a special video camera to determine the health and condition of your fireplace.

A Chimnoscopy will determine:

  • If and how much internal chimney damage there is
  • Scope of any repairs that may be needed
  • The best course of action for repairs

Luckily, all of these dangerous scenarios are caught by our team during an inspection. Our technicians will diagnose if you have any issues or concerns with your chimney and fireplace, and provide you with the best options for repair.

Have you had your chimney inspected yet this year? Quality Fireplace, Roof, & Chimney Service Professionals are CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps and operate using industry best practices! Contact us today and get your annual inspection booked so you can have peace of mind. Don’t forget to refer a person to Quality Fireplace and when they complete service, we’ll send you a check for $25.00!

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