How Chimney Fires Damage Your Chimney

chimney fire prevention, manchester NHChimney fires come in all shapes and sizes. Not all of them are catastrophic blazes. Many are small and brief – but even the smallest chimney fire can begin a cycle of damage to your chimney system. Here are some things you’ll want to know about chimney fires.

What causes chimney fires?

The majority of chimney fires are caused by creosote that catches on fire in your chimney flue or smoke chamber. Creosote is produced each time a wood fire is burned and can present as a sticky, flakey, puffy or solid substance.

Chimneys that have been operated for long periods of time without proper cleaning are more at risk of a chimney fire than those that are serviced annually with professional chimney sweeping and inspection.

What kind of damage can a chimney fire do?

Even “minor” chimney fires can begin to damage your chimney liner – whether it’s clay tile, stainless steel or a poured-in-place compound.

The materials used to build chimney liners are effective at containing the heat that moves into the flue during a fire, but they’re not built to withstand the greater heat of an actual fire – especially when the fire occurs over and over.

Once the liner is broken or cracked, flames can begin to degrade the interior chimney masonry. Depending on the location of the fire, flames can get into contact with walls, rafters, flooring and other building materials of the house.

Finally, chimney fires can cause damage to the chimney cap at the top of the chimney, the surfaces of the smoke chamber located just above the firebox and even sections of the roof close to the chimney. Chimney fires are equal-opportunity destroyers.

How can I tell if I’m having a chimney fire?

If you have a major chimney fire, you’ll know it. Smaller fires do have signs, however. They include:

  • An odd tapping or clicking sound
  • A rumbling sound like from a distant train
  • Excess dense, black smoke coming from either end of your chimney

If you notice any of these signs, call 911 immediately and put out the fire in your fireplace if you can do so safely.

How can I prevent a fire in my chimney?

The best way to prevent chimney fires is to have your chimney flue professionally cleaned once a year. The person who does this work should be experienced and certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

Only a licensed chimney sweep has the industry-grade tools and training to safely remove creosote and other debris that could lead to drafting blockages. Scheduling yearly cleanings is a critical part of wood fireplace maintenance.

prevent chimney fires, swanzey NHChimney inspections

If you know or suspect you’ve had a chimney fire, a chimney inspector needs to take a look at the system before you use your fireplace again. Most chimney sweeps also are qualified to perform chimney inspections, so you may be able to have both the inspection and the cleaning done on the same visit.

Black Moose Chimney & Stove of Antrim, NH, provides CSIA-certified chimney sweep services, professional chimney inspections and all manner of chimney repairs and rebuilding work. If you’ve had a chimney fire or want to prevent one, we’re ready to serve you all year long. Call (603) 525-7905.

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)