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How to avoid chimney fires

A warm fire is one of the most pleasant things to enjoy on a cold night, but if you haven’t used your chimney in a while or it’s the first fire of the season, you could be courting trouble. Many household fires start with chimney fires, so give yours a thorough visual inspection each year before using it. There are five common indications that you could need chimney repairs. Boston homeowners should review our list, then contact us at GF Sprague if there is a problem.

1. Chimney Cap Problems

The cap is simply the metal lid or covering that keeps water from getting inside. It has vented or metal mesh sides to allow smoke and carbon dioxide to escape without letting moisture or small animals into your chimney. Homeowners increasingly have to contend with baby birds, raccoons and more when their chimney caps are damaged, missing or improperly installed. Any of these situations can trigger a fire due to excessive heating of the chimney’s interior or blocked airflow.

2. Old And Worn Chimney Crowns

The crown is simply the mortared area keeping the cap in place on top of your chimney. Repairs are often needed on crowns because the mortar has crumbled, flaked or broken away in spots. If there is any obvious damage to the crown, you need to get chimney repairs in Bostonas soon as possible; otherwise, water can seep in around the problem areas and accumulate.

3. Efflorescence – A Big Word For A Simple Problem

Efflorescence refers to the streaky, white stains that sometimes appear on the exterior bricks of a home’s chimney. Any time you see these chalky looking stains (they often appear a few hours after a good rain), you should schedule chimney repairs. Boston homeowners have discovered that if they let these stains go too long, the situation can quickly become serious. Efflorescence is left when salt leeches out of bricks as they dry. If this is happening, your bricks are absorbing too much moisture and could cause a house fire. GF Sprague can give you an accurate estimate for chimney repairs if you find efflorescence on your chimney’s exterior.

4. Damaged Or Missing Mortar Between Bricks

Mortar is the cement that holds bricks together and as such, it is critical to your chimney’s proper functioning. By scraping it in several different spots with a knife blade, you’ll be able to see whether your mortar is still in good shape. If it flakes, crumbles, is easily removed or is missing in spots, call GF Sprague to schedule chimney repairs in Boston before you use your fireplace again.

5. A Damaged Or Worn Out Fire Box – Important Chimney Repairs In Boston

The interior of your fireplace, referred to as the firebox, is the focal point of any chimney. It’s where the fire burns hottest, so special firebricks are used to line the area. If you look into your firebox and see missing or loose mortar, you’ll need to call for chimney repairs in Boston as soon as possible, as a faulty firebox can catch fire and send flames upwards where they can then set your home on fire. Because both the firebox and the mortar are specially formulated for this purpose, be sure you hire a company experienced at chimney repairs. In Boston, homeowners have been turning to GF Sprague for superior repairs for over forty years. We look forward to repairing or replacing your chimney so that your family can enjoy the luxury of warm fireplace for years to come. Call today or fill out our easy contact form.