During the winter months, homeowners depend on fireplaces, wood stoves, and other wood-burning and fossil fuel-powered heating appliances to keep their homes warm.

However, dirty chimneys can cause millions of dollars worth of property damage and health issues. Here are some of the hazards of having dirty chimneys.

Chimney Fire

A chimney fire is one of the most dangerous risks of a dirty chimney. Of the 70,000 house fires recorded each year, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) believes that chimney fires cause 30% of them.

A byproduct of combustion known as creosote builds up every time you use your chimney, and can ignite when exposed to high temperatures, leading to fires. When a chimney fire occurs, it can crack tiles, brick and seep through the chimney and result in a house fire.


chimney fire

High Health Risks

Neglecting to clean your chimney regularly can also result in creosote particles circulating in the air, especially near the chimney. Since chimneys are often located in living rooms and kitchens, it can affect all family members. Creosote can cause respiratory issues such as trouble breathing and can exacerbate asthma and other preexisting conditions.

Dirty chimneys mean that the smoke from your fireplace can’t escape, leading to irritated lungs, eyes, and skin. Additionally, long term exposure to chimney smoke can lead to chemical burns, which is why you should hire professionals to clean your chimneys.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

With improper ventilation of heating systems, carbon monoxide poisoning is on the rise. Soot build-up, debris, damaged flue liner and other things can result in improper ventilation, meaning toxic gases can become trapped in your house. Your chimney requires oxygen to burn these fuels, and with carbon monoxide, oxygen build-up is limited. However, with regular cleaning and chimney inspections, you can easily avoid the health risks associated with carbon monoxide and dirty chimneys, allowing for a healthier home.

Avoid a dirty chimney by hiring professional chimney sweeps. At Creative Masonry & Chimney, you’ll be able to find certified chimney sweeps for the entire CT area, including West Hartford, Canton, Bristol, Simsbury and Avon. They also offer masonry repair, chimney inspection, masonry construction services and more in CT.

Get in touch with them at (860) 225-9178 to find out more.