Your fireplace is a source of beauty and comfort, particularly during the cold winter months. However, a dirty or broken chimney can cause a frightening variety of medical conditions. If you haven't had your chimney professionally cleaned and repaired recently, you need to call a professional today.
Creosote, a tar-like substance, can build up in any chimney, but this buildup is worse when your chimney has structural problems. These issues are often not visible to the average person. Creosote buildup is a health hazard that can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, including skin irritation, abdominal issues, mental confusion, respiratory problems, and other serious conditions. To prevent this problem, you should have your chimney inspected and cleaned each year before fireplace season begins.
Cracks in the chimney flue or other breaks in your chimney can allow carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide is deadly because people are often overcome by it before they realize there is a problem. If the levels are too low to kill you, they can still cause serious physical harm, including permanent brain damage and organ injury. These lower levels can also make you feel exhausted, depressed, and achy. If you have these symptoms, consult with a doctor and have your chimney checked.
A dirty chimney can expose you to high levels of soot, the powdery residue left after something burns. If your chimney is blocked in some way, the soot will enter your home, which will obviously cause a huge mess. More importantly, you will end up inhaling it, which can cause respiratory issues. The particles are so tiny that you easily breathe them in, often without realizing it. Soot contains some dangerous substances, including dioxin, that cause lung conditions. Soot, in gas form, is known to contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are considered carcinogens by researchers. In short, soot is a dirty nuisance, but that's the least of its negative effects. To protect your health, you need to have your chimney cleaned and inspected.
A fireplace can be the center of family life, providing cozy warmth and a place for everyone, including pets, to congregate. Unfortunately, a poorly maintained fireplace can be a serious health hazard. Unless you examine the inside of the chimney, you often cannot tell that there is a dangerous creosote buildup or structural problems. You need to consult with a professional chimney cleaning and repair service like Excel Chimney & Fireplace Service each year to keep your fireplace burning brightly and safely.