In New Jersey, there are tons of homes with chimneys, and most of them have chimneys that are made of mortar and brick. Chimneys allow you to heat your home during the winter months without the use of central heating. They provide a cozy, comfortable area for you and your family to stay warm during the winter months. But, if they’re not properly cared for, they can become dangerous. A common issue that BR Masonry runs into is damaged brick surrounding your flue, which can lead to serious issues that can become extremely hazardous over time.
For instance, if your terracotta flue is damaged or cracked, and the surrounding brick isn’t in good shape or hasn’t been properly repaired, a substance called creosote can seep through the chimney and into your walls. Creosote is a tar-like, foul smelling, corrosive and extremely combustible substance that is a by-product of burning wood. If no precautions are taken, creosote will coat the inside of your chimney leading to dangerous blockages if not removed by regular chimney sweeping. Creosote is also the number one cause of chimney fires!
Check out these important facts, so you don’t become another statistic:
1. According to NFPA’s March 2016 report “Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment”, creosote is the leading cause of chimney fires.
2. Heating equipment like fireplaces & radiators are a leading cause of dangerous and sometimes fatal fires in U.S. homes.
3. Heating equipment fires accounted for 16% of all reported home fires in 2009-2013 and 19% of home fire deaths.
4. The leading contributor to ignition for home heating fire deaths (56%) was heating equipment too close to flammable objects.
5. The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (30%) was failure to clean, mainly from wood-fueled heating equipment like fireplaces.
6. These fires resulted in annual losses of 470 civilian deaths, 1,490 civilian injuries and $1.0 billion in direct property damage.
7. Approximately 45,000 chimney fires occur every year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
8. “Chimneys shall be inspected at least once a year … Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.” – NFPA Standards
If the brick surrounding your chimney or flue is damaged, it becomes much easier for the creosote to coat not only your chimney, but the problem can spread into your surrounding walls. This spreading of creosote can cause a chimney fire to become a full-on house fire. Only through masonry restoration and detailed, expert repair work can you avoid this potential danger and ensure the safety of your home and your family.
At BR Masonry, we’re the chimney experts! Not only are we certified members of the National Chimney Sweep guild, but we have the experience and know-how to make every masonry repair the right way. Our goal is to make sure your home or business is structurally sound, and safe for you to live in! If your chimney needs a checkup, or you want to make sure you are safe to use your fireplace this winter, contact us today for a FREE quote!