Some of our customers are surprised to learn they must have their chimney inspected once a year, and we at Blue Ridge Chimney Service are often asked why annual chimney inspections are so important. Safety is the most essential reason for these yearly inspections. Even if you have not changed anything about your chimney or heating appliance, it is still necessary to keep your chimney up to code. Chimney codes were created for a reason: to protect you, your family, and your home from hazardous incidents. We would like to share with you some information from HomeSaver that will help you understand the importance of chimney codes and inspections.

Chimney Codes - Shenandoah Valley VA - Blue Ridge

What exactly are chimney codes?

To reduce fire hazards, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) published the NFPA 211, the standard codes for chimneys, fireplaces, vents, and solid fuel-burning appliances. These codes ensure the safe removal of flue gases, the correct installation of solid fuel-burning appliances, and the proper construction and installation of chimneys, fireplaces, and venting systems. In order to become Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps, one must pass an examination covering the NFPA 211. The NFPA regularly updates these standard codes as necessary.

What hazards could occur if my chimney is not up to these codes?

Without an annual chimney inspection, your chimney flue could be cracked or blocked, which can lead to the toxic gas carbon monoxide leaking into your home. Excessive creosote buildups that could ignite a chimney fire and excessive heat exposure that can cause pyrolysis, is also a potential result of not having your chimney inspected. Pyrolysis is when the molecular structure of the wood framing surrounding your chimney is altered and becomes flammable enough to start a residential fire.

What does a chimney inspection from Blue Ridge Chimney Services include?

To ensure your chimney and venting system is up to codes, we will begin by thoroughly examining the outer structure of the exterior of your chimney to look for broken or spalled bricks, exterior stains, and deteriorated mortar joints that can jeopardize the structure of your chimney. We will then carefully inspect the interior of your chimney to check the condition of your flue liner. We also closely check all connections from your heating appliance to the chimney. If any problems are found, we may be required to perform a more extensive inspection to find out exactly what needs to be repaired to make your heating appliance safe to use.

What can I do in between annual inspections to be sure the heating appliance, chimney, and venting systems are working properly and safely?

Install carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home and outside each bedroom to ensure you do not have the poisonous gas leaking into your house. If you have a wood-burning appliance, always use seasoned firewood and burn hot fires to cut down on the amount of creosote that is produced. Check the exterior periodically for chipped bricks and mortar.

Need to schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection? Contact Blue Ridge Chimney Services today, or click here, to set up an appointment.